Re-Thinking the Dwelling

Mr Wally Wight
Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO)

Much is said of housing affordability, sustainability and community. Our typical suburban house is 30% larger than 20 years ago, yet household size is smaller. Even first-time homeowners insist on more bedrooms than people and extensive extras. “Affordable” is relegated to far-flung fringes. This trend cannot go on forever. However, higher density is perceived as “six-pack” walk-ups or impersonal highrise. We have few models demonstrating a way forward.

We need a new paradigm. Instead of maximising floor area and features, we need more effective and amenable utilisation of the more limited floor area and features we can afford. Instead of sizing all houses for large families, we must offer genuine choice. This paper argues an alternative way forward. There is more opportunity in existing patterns of subdivision and flexibility in existing planning codes than appreciated. Existing urban fabric and character has the resilience and capacity to accommodate innovation… more

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