With the SEQ Regional Plan 2005-2026 predicting the need for an additional 575, 000 new dwellings over the next 25 years (OUM, 2005), significant priority must be placed on finding better ways to house people at higher densities. Historically, the landscape of SEQ has been dominated by single detached dwellings on their own land; housing models that have been shaped by history, climate and aspiration. If SEQ is to move towards sustainability, new models of development need to be examined and the generally negative perception of higher density living must be overcome.
The expanding population and changing demographic that is placing pressure on housing is not unique to SEQ but is rather a global phenomenon. Although the lack of sustainability of current urban form and growth were first recognised nearly 20 years ago, patterns of planning and development remain similar to those that emerged after WWII (Calthorpe, 1989, p3). While new forms of urban growth within SEQ, such as Regional Activity Centres and Transit Oriented Communities (TOCs) are beginning to be recognised, new models of housing are generally not reflecting changing social, economic and demographic criterion. The majority of people still prefer the single detached dwelling in the suburbs and the market is providing little alternative.
This dissertation is an investigation into the reasons why the detached dwelling model is still the most preferred option within SEQ, in an attempt to identify defining characteristics and guidelines that can be used to inform new higher density housing forms. It is proposed that through the identification of the desirable attributes of detached housing and an exploration of their potential transference to higher density housing models, an easier transition and greater acceptability of these forms within existing urban areas may occur.