Planning for Lower-Income Households in Privately Developed High-Density Neighbourhoods in Sydney, Australia

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Planning for Lower-Income Households in Privately Developed High-Density Neighbourhoods in Sydney, Australia


  • Hazel Easthope City Futures Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Laura Crommelin School of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Sophie-May Kerr City Futures Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Laurence Troy School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Ryan van den Nouwelant School of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Australia
  • Gethin Davison School of the Built Environment, Oxford Brookes University, UK


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Abstract:  In Australia, as in many other countries, private high-density housing is typically marketed as the domain of middle- and higher-income residents. But, in practice, it accommodates many lower-income households. These households often live in mixed-income communities alongside wealthier neighbours, but, because of constrained budgets, they rely more heavily on access to community services and facilities. This has implications for public infrastructure planning in high-density neighbourhoods where private property ownership dominates. In this article, we examine two neighbourhood case studies within the same local government area in Sydney that have sizable populations of lower-income households living in apartments, but which provide markedly different day-to-day experiences for residents. We consider the causes of these varying outcomes and implications for neighbourhood-scale planning and development. The article argues that coordinated and collaborative planning processes are key to ensuring that the needs of lower-income households are met in privately developed apartment neighbourhoods.

Keywords:  apartment; condominium; density; housing development; low-income; Sydney; urban planning

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v7i4.5699


© Hazel Easthope, Laura Crommelin, Sophie-May Kerr, Laurence Troy, Ryan van den Nouwelant, Gethin Davison. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.