By Jessica Frost


It’s Australia’s fastest growing trend, but to the uninitiated, high-density living can seem a world away from the serenity of small country towns and quiet suburban streets. But we think it is time to bust a few myths and prove that there really aren’t any downsides.

Let’s start by looking at what high density living is.

To put it simply, it’s defined as housing or areas that are more densely populated than average, such as apartment buildings, blocks of flats or areas that have a high number of share houses. As more and more people flock to city centres, limited space means that the only way to go is up.

Some people are still wary of the rapid growth in our cities but high-density living is about so much more than just people per square metre facts and figures.

Gone are the days when the great Aussie dream is to own a free-standing house with a big backyard and white picket fence. Nowadays, we’re striving for the metropolitan lifestyles of European cities where all of the conveniences of a modern life are just a short stroll down the block, and high-density living is providing it.

high density living

Already, the share of detached homes in Sydney city fell from 61 per cent to 57 per cent between 2011 and 2016. This shift in our way of life is making a huge positive impact in a number of areas.

Firstly, it reduces our ecological footprint and is more environmentally friendly compared to living in sprawling suburbs as land and ecosystems are preserved. Being closer to, and able to conveniently access friends, family, entertainment activities, restaurants, community groups and more can also transform social lives in turn benefiting our day-to-day happiness.

Of course, there are the economic impacts that make living in high-density areas undeniably attractive. Resources are supplied more efficiently to densely populated areas and therefore more cost effectively than remote areas, and living within close proximity to work, schools, supermarkets and recreational activities can have a huge impact on a consumers’ spending habits as well as lead to happier people in the workplace and therefore, higher productivity. 

There’s so much about high-density living that just makes sense but as we adjust our lifestyles to embrace all of the wonderful new changes, there’s one thing that doesn’t make much sense… car ownership. Not only is it estimated to cost around $650 per month to own a car [1], with more people and less space, nearly every aspect of owning a car contradicts high density lifestyles. In fact, when looking at recent trends within urban living, it actually makes more sense to ditch your car.

But that doesn’t mean you have to go without the convenience when you need it.

Thanks to innovations like GoGet, you can still take that trip up the coast with your mates, surfboards in tow, cruise around with the entire family including the baby and their car seat, transport your furniture or even do the weekly shop at the supermarket.

What you don’t have to do, is worry about paying top dollar for a parking space in your apartment building (some parking spots are valued at more than $200,000 according to recent sales), stressing about the safety of parking your car on the streets or worrying about paying annual insurance premiums, registration costs or hefty servicing and repairs bills. In fact, in some instances, you could save up to $5,400 by switching to GoGet [2].

In the first instance, your transport and living costs are reduced without it feeling like you’re living without a car at all. Overall however, you are significantly contributing to lower carbon emissions and improved air quality within your area thanks to the switch to buses and trains. We know for a fact around 48% of GoGet users commute to work via public transport [3] and, just one GoGet car takes up to 10 other cars off the roads [4].

With facts like these, it’s easy to see that high-density living is no longer the way of the future, its time is now, and a city lifestyle has never been so great!

 

References:

[1] GoGet Media Fact Sheet p.1 para. 5

[2] Phillip Boyle and Associates (2016) The Impact of Car Share Service in Australia p.30

[3]  SGS Economics and Planning (2012) Benefit Cost Analysis of Car Share within the City of Sydney p.5

[4] AECOM (2016) Transport On Demand: Accelerating Australia Cities p.8