In 2020 Melbourne experienced one of the longest COVID-19 lockdowns in the world. Spending increased time at home during this period focused Melburnians’ attention on the utility of where they live. The suburbs have been praised for providing a safe haven in self-isolation, but not all suburbs are created with equal access to green spaces and essential services. A recent study found 340,000 Melburnians have little or no parkland within five kilometres of their homes. So, who has access to the well-connected inner and middle-ring suburbs, and who is kept out?
While the full extent of COVID-19’s impact on migration and related housing demand is yet to be realised, demand for accessible, well-connected housing that supports the sustainable growth of our cities is unlikely to dampen. A moderate increase in density throughout the inner and middle ring suburbs of Australia’s major cities is required in order to meet the long term housing needs of our growing population, while avoiding the insidious consequences of urban sprawl.
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