City Futures Research Centre Arts, Design and Architecture

Living Well in Greater Density

Higher density housing has been a cornerstone of the NSW state governments' metropolitan plans since the 1980s. An increase in medium and high density housing has been seen as a necessary response to pressures of a rapidly increasing population and concerns associated with the environmental and infrastructure costs associated with suburban sprawl.

While the pros and cons of urban consolidation have been debated extensively from a 『big picture' planning perspective, less attention has been given to the lived experiences of the residents of higher density dwellings.

The project outlines some of the most common challenges faced by residents in higher density developments, including (but not limited to) noise, neighbour disputes, privacy and limited open space. The research considered issues facing all higher density households, including low income and vulnerable households.

The project includes an analysis of media coverage in this area in NSW as well as a comprehensive review of the international literature on challenges faced by residents of higher density dwellings. These issues were discussed at a roundtable discussion in Sydney with representatives from residents groups and other stakeholders. Input from this discussion is included in the final report.

The report provides an evidence base that can be used to develop and promote solutions to the challenges identified, in order to ensure better housing outcomes for residents in higher density developments in NSW.


Easthope, H. & Judd, S. (2010) ' Living Well in Greater Density'


Hazel  Easthope
Associate Professor Hazel Easthope
Chief Investigator
Sarah Judd
Chief Investigator

Funded by

Shelter NSW

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