Re: Re: Matt Cooper: Developers get rich, buyers get shoddy homes in Nowheresville
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No more than 10-15 per cent of any scheme of 20 or more apartments should be of the one-bedroom type? Wow! We’ve come a long way since Bachelor’s Walk & 90% one-beds.
I’m going to submit some comments on the draft guidelines for family apartments to the department. Any comment from those of you with families is welcome.
Compared with a semi, the downside of apartments for family living are: lack of space, lack of safe play area for children and possibility of falling out of high windows/balconies. All of these have been looked at in the guidelines. Some reduction in living space is acceptable in an apartment given the advantages of city living which reduces the need for storage.
My main concern is having somewhere for children to play safely that is overlooked by a window in the apartment. This works best in an interior courtyard but there is a limit to how high an apartment can be before the children are outside of shouting distance. Maybe 4/5 floors. The one-beds and two-beds should be above this height.
Not addressed in the guidelines is the problem of traffic in high density developments. Although high density living is less car dependent, it is more affected by traffic than a low density layout. If the development is designed to minimise front-door to car walking distance, then cars will be more prominent in the development with consequent noise and safety problems.
Children playing and traffic don’t mix well, so a compromise in high density is to site parking 100m from the living area and make courtyards entirely free of traffic. Just that short walk from car to front door will reduce the likelihood of choosing a car for journeys within the neighbourhood such as local shopping. Also, by siting parking apart from living there is a huge amenity space gain from the space that would have been used for road infrastructure to the front door.
Many of the council housing developments in the city centre are arranged in a courtyard pattern with nearly all the community interior space devoted to concrete for car parking which is a shame.