Lisa Pryor presses buttons..

a great article originally in the Sydney Morning Herald, about how young families, and not just single people or couples, are choosing to live in the high density neighbourhoods of Sydney.

I quote what i think is the nub…

“So why would anyone choose this way of life when they have other options? Housing affordability is only part of the story, as it can cost more to buy a small apartment close to the city or near the beach than it does to live in the full four-bedroom family catastrophe far from it. The real story is about a generation of young families considering commuting times, debt levels, work hours and neighbourhood amenities and coming up with a different answer to those who have gone before.

Choosing location over size means living close to parks or the beach, or getting the benefit of a swimming pool someone else looks after. It means living close enough to work that you can be home before teeth and bed. It also means refusing to go into even more debt in a property market that is both stagnant and one of the most overpriced in the world.

Choosing the city life paradoxically allows families to escape those things city life is most notorious for, such as long commutes in heavy traffic. On weekdays my movements take on the geographic range of a medieval peasant, travelling no further than my legs can take me for work, childcare, shopping and play.

Still, doubts creep in…….We fantasised about freestanding life in the suburbs, far enough out that we could afford a home with a family room opening onto lawn, and more rooms than people – playrooms, studies, guest bedrooms.

I had to yank myself from my reverie to remember the realities of such a life. …….. We are compromising family space for family time.

Last month the Grattan Institute released a report about the future design of cities, entitled Social Cities. It noted how critical connections with other people are to our well-being. This is also true of children. In truth, the most magical thing about my own childhood was not the garden out the back; it was the street out the front. It was the presence of other children and the innocent street gangs we formed on the footpaths in front of our homes, friendships that last until this day.”



And why are young families choosing to do this? It is just now socially acceptable, and fashion takes over. Fashion is the prime mover in Anglophone societies.