Impacts of urban consolidation on urban liveability: comparing an inner and outer suburb in Brisbane, Australia

McCrea, Rod and Walters, Peter (2012) Impacts of urban consolidation on urban liveability: comparing an inner and outer suburb in Brisbane, Australia. Housing, Theory and Society, 29 2: 196-206. doi:10.1080/14036096.2011.641261

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Author McCrea, Rod
Walters, Peter
Title Impacts of urban consolidation on urban liveability: comparing an inner and outer suburb in Brisbane, Australia
Journal name Housing, Theory and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1403-6096
Publication date 2012-01-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/14036096.2011.641261
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 29
Issue 2
Start page 196
End page 206
Total pages 11
Place of publication Oslo, Norway
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Language eng
Abstract Urban consolidation involving increasing densification around existing nodes of urban infrastructure is a strategy pursued by all levels of government for addressing rapid population growth in urban regions. This has both positive and negative impacts on the everyday lives of residents (or their urban liveability as perceived by them), even though urban consolidation is commonly resisted by residents. This paper aims to better understand impacts of urban consolidation on liveability by comparing similarities and differences in impacts between two Brisbane suburbs: an outer fringe suburb (Wynnum) and an inner city suburb (West End). Wynnum residents generally expressed less resistance to urban consolidation, with some residents willing to trade additional densification for additional amenities. Two issues concerning residents in both suburbs were aesthetics of high-rise development and traffic congestion. Building heights more than a few storeys above surrounding buildings were commonly seen as detracting from urban liveability, though buildings up to 30 stories were accepted by some if close to the Commercial Business District. Traffic congestion was seen as a problem in both suburbs reflecting widespread car dependency. Other impacts differed between suburbs, reflecting their different values and ways of living. For example, most West End residents were concerned about losing social diversity with declining housing affordability while many Wynnum residents were concerned about gaining more public or social housing and disadvantaged residents. The impacts of urban consolidation on liveability differ between suburbs, and local neighbourhood plans should be sensitive to local notions of urban liveability because residents often stay after urban consolidation, even if they perceive negative impacts on their liveability. These interviews reinforce liveability as primary focus for urban planning, and thus urban consolidation at the expense of liveability is a poor outcome for both local residents and urban planning.
Keyword Densification
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2013 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 17 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 24 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 22 Feb 2013, 03:34:58 EST by Dr Peter Walters on behalf of School of Social Science