Tuesday, April 12, 2016
And now to a developing storey....
It's been a long time in between drinks but here I am again. Hurray! I've been feeling for a while that it's time for a comeback. Doing this blog makes me feel more connected to where I live and what is happening around me. And there's a lot happening around me in my neighbourhood of West End. What has historically been an industrial area - probably due to the high flood risk - has in the last few years had a huge amount of development applications approved. The projected population of our area is set to double in the next few years. That's just in West End. Across the river in Toowong the same thing is happening. Infact, throughout the inner city, if a house gets knocked down, you can expect a block of units to rise in its place.
The case for development is that the greater city's footprint is sprawling - roughly the size of London but with a fraction of the population. Traditionally, people from Brisbane have lived in single-level high-set houses on big blocks. But if the city is to prosper and grow, this type of housing - particularly so close to the centre of town - is unsustainable and a waste of valuable space.
The case against the current developments is that thousands of new residents are moving into the area (with thousands of cars). I read somewhere that the population density between the river and Montague Road will be similar to Hong Kong yet there is apparently no planning for new schools/infrastructure/parks/public transport. There will be high towers (some 15 stories or more) close together, creating dark, windy streets. There is no allowance for affordable housing - all the apartments being built are "luxury". And everything is being built on an area that was under several feet of river water in 2011 during the flood. Local residents aren't anti-development - just anti-bad development. (Can you tell which side I'm on?)
See here for a related post back in 2012.