Synergistic Density: Exploring Infill Development with Public Open Space

Amsterdam, Infill Housing
Amsterdam, Infill Housing (Photo credit: michellemarie)

Presently there are a limited number of strategies for achieving infill development in Australian cities. While the national average target for infill development is 60%, only 45% is currently being achieved. At a regional scale the failure of Australian cities to meet their respective infill targets means that they will continue to sprawl in what is recognised as a typically unhealthy, costly, unsustainable and unproductive manner.

Dr Julian Bolleter’s research explores the potential of a, much needed, additional strategy for achieving infill development in Australian greyfield suburbs. This strategy concerns the residential densification of areas adjacent to upgraded public open space (POS). The research argues the correlation of upgraded POS and residential densification could achieve positive synergies. These synergies include the provision of significant amenity and ecosystem services which could act as an incentive for local communities to support infill development at higher residential densities. The potential of this approach is tested, in spatial terms, in a Perth greyfield Local Government Area which has significant infill targets and large reserves of POS.

The outcomes of this research are expected to be healthier, denser and more resilient cities.

Dr Julian Bolleter is an Assistant Professor at the Australian Urban Design Research Centre (AUDRC) at the University of Western Australia. He will be speaking at the 6th International Urban Design Conference being held at the Novotel Sydney Olympic Park from Monday the 9th to Wednesday 11th of September 2013.

The conference “UrbanAgiNation” urbanisation | agitation | imagination will examine the Liveability, Productivity, Affordability and Efficiency of our Cities

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