Good design-A case for adopting a user centred approach to medium density housing


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    Contemporary urban design theory has, for the past quarter century, favoured medium density compact forms of residential development (medium density) over low density urban typologies as being more sustainable. Similarly, governments have imposed building standards specifically aimed at improving the environmental efficiency, or ‘green design’, of residential dwellings. However, the migration towards more compact, sustainable urban developments has been slow despite regulatory pressure. In Australia, the average house size has doubled over nearly fifty years while occupant numbers have almost halved in this period (per capita averages (ABS 2010)). This research traces the emergence of the compact housing agenda in Australian cities with a particular reference to the early experiments in Canberra during the early 1960s and 1970s. The case is then established to argue that the combination of changing attitudes to housing, and the increased knowledge in the Architectural community set the scene for new design typologies to emerge during that period. While ‘green' house design was understood as beneficial to the user experience, a gap remains between findings on user satisfaction and the design outcomes of more compact housing typologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationState of Australian Cities National Conference 2015: Refereed Proceedings
    EditorsPaul Burton, Heather Shearer
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherGriffith University
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)9781925455038
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventState of Australian Cities National Conference 2015 - Gold Coast, Australia
    Duration: 9 Dec 201511 Dec 2015


    ConferenceState of Australian Cities National Conference 2015
    CityGold Coast


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