Suburban Sprawl – The Developer’s View

The big picture just doesn’t register with some executives. Sprawl is bad for the planet and bad for humans, particularly in light of Peak Oil. Here is the justification for further suburban development in Melbourne, Australia.

Death knell sounded for Aussie suburbs |

Victoria’s housing estate developers are represented by the Urban Development Institute (UDI) of Australia, and executive director Tony De Domenico said banning estate developments on Melbourne’s fringe was unrealistic and blinkered.

“The population is still growing and there’s a demand for these properties,” Mr De Domenico said.

“It’s near impossible to dictate to the market what should happen. The thing that’s keeping Victoria’s economy very competitive compared to the mining states is we are very competitive in housing.”

Mr De Domenico said RAIA (Royal Australian Institute of Architects) members should spend more time in outer suburbs and see what people wanted.

The difficulty I have with this view is that rather than investing is sustainable housing, and partnering with the government to foster interest in a better product, (in a local and global sense), the UDI is defending a product which only evolved last century due to ridiculously cheap oil prices.

Go figure – self interest and immediate profit over longevity – sounds like politics to me.


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Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

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