Australia

F#*ck Off We’re Full

The Sydney Morning Homosexual wants you to just STFU about housing affordability already. In the 3 April 2017 article titled, “How crowded is your suburb? How Australian neighbourhoods compare to the world”, Inga Ting compares the Homebush Bay-Silverwater precinct to New York and a few other Sydney metro regions with global counterparts vis-à-vis density. It’s a screamer.

She briefly invokes the liberal urbanite holy grail of “lifestyle choice” but quickly devolves into outright hostility to any notion that we might be “full” as implied seventeen years ago by then NSW Premier Bob Carr.

“The notion that a neighbourhood, a city, or even an entire country is “full” can seem absurd in Australia, where our most packed metropolitan areas (Greater Melbourne at 465 people a sq km and Greater Sydney at 405 people a sq km) seem like sprawling deserts compared with world megacities such as Dhaka, Bangladesh (44,100 people a sq km) or Mumbai, India (26,000 people a sq km).”

So basically just STFU because LOL OMG look at Bangladesh!

But it gets worse. We get a quote from a fancy academic. “And in one sense, there’s no such thing as a city of neighbourhood being “full”, says Kristian Ruming, an associate professor of Macquarie University’s Department of Geography and Planning….”A city is not a container. The boundaries are not fixed,” he says. “We can move the fringe of the city out. We can increase the density in particular locations.

We’re not full if we keep jamming people in and expanding the fringes, silly.

Oh and the “Australian dream” of owning a quarter acre block influences public debate and expectations…but the Australian dream is changing…because we can’t afford homes…so actually there’s a voluntary demand for higher density living. I give that mental gymnastics routine a perfect 10.

Bill Randolph, director of the City Futures Research Centre at UNSW says, “Essentially, it’s about what you can persuade people to accept.” Randolph argues, “good design is key to changing attitudes” to high-density living but fails to acknowledge the fact that “ good design” is itself elitist.

Excuse me if I doubt newly arrived third world migrants can positively influence the outcomes of local development proposals. Ever tried redecorating with your spouse? Try re-designing an entire neighbourhood with Ahmed from next door.

 

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