When it comes to making housing affordable, Melbourne has always done it better than Sydney. Sydney’s geography may be spectacular, but it’s bad for building housing. Ocean to the east, mountains to the west, and the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park to the north limit Sydney’s urban sprawl. Whereas Melbourne can build more – and cheaper – housing on abundant greenfield land closer to the city.
But the rules of the game are shifting. Melbourne’s urban fringe is a lot further from the city centre today than 30 years ago. Most new jobs in our services-based economy are being created in or close to the city centre, far from those new homes. And relying on greenfield housing to accommodate most of our booming population is causing other problems: more traffic congestion, longer commutes and a big drop in the quality of family and social life…Read more