One of the things that impressed me most about Europe is the cosmopolitan lifestyle. Cafés on every corner, parks, bike-lanes, families outside – the cities feel so vibrant and alive. I think one of the reasons that this is possible is the urban density; mid-rise apartments mean that more families can live closer together, and support more small shops and restaurants and thus fuel the vibrancy. Density also means more frequent public transport, more hospitals, more libraries, and more schools within walking distance.
Some would say that living in an ‘ant-hill’ is unAustralian and grumbling about pollution move further out, clinging to the house and yard dream/fallacy. However the suburban lifestyle is drifting further away from utopia with limited public transport and longer commutes leading to lack of access to everyday conveniences, community facilites, less free time, higher rates of obesity and can be extremely isolating.
After seeing how dynamic, clean and healthy city living can be I am all for increasing density in Australia. Next time an apartment block is proposed nearby, don’t be a nimby, just think ‘Awesome more small shops, more bike-lanes, public transport, schools, hospitals, libraries and public spaces!’
If you get super excited about it you can email your local member for urban planning. Or even firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know what you think.
Here are some of my European apartment living photos.