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journal contribution
posted on 04.05.2017, 03:38 by Lewis, Miles
The Victorian Government’s recent report, Challenge Melbourne, encapsulates the official ‘predict and provide’ planning philosophy. This philosophy makes no attempt either to influence the growth of the population or to locate it in the optimum way. The assumptions of a continued pyramid of population density from the centre to the periphery, and of unchecked road-based growth, are contrary to the wishes of citizens, and to the principles of sustainability which are espoused in the report. They also assume that population growth can be accommodated by increasing residential densities. This is a fallacy. For example, if the residential density of a given population is increased by 250 per cent, the urban area would only shrink by 30 per cent, and its diameter by only six per cent. The report’s approach demonstrates a wilful misunderstanding of the costs of infrastructure in different forms of residential development, and of the way in which these and other costs are being imposed upon existing residents. Especially it fails to recognise that increased densities in existing areas are achieved only at the cost of reduced amenity standards, and that such reductions are no longer acceptable to the electorate. Copyright. Monash University and the author/s


Date originally published



People and place, vol. 9, no. 1 (2001), p. 75-80. ISSN 1039-4788