Barriers and opportunities for medium density housing in small, regional cities: Stakeholder perspectives from Cairns

Gibson, Sarah, and Law, Lisa (2022) Barriers and opportunities for medium density housing in small, regional cities: Stakeholder perspectives from Cairns. Australian Planner, 58 (3-4). pp. 95-109.

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Abstract

Medium Density Housing (MDH) is advocated for sustainable urban growth while retaining the amenity and liveability of lower-density urban forms. Despite these advantages, affordable and diverse MDH proves challenging to implement in suburbs with access to employment and services. While scholars do explore barriers and solutions to implementing MDH in Australia, regional city contexts are less understood. Stakeholder perspectives on MDH and its implementation are also limited. This research presents a stakeholder analysis in the regional city of Cairns to address these important gaps. The research employs a case study approach including semi-structured interviews with 19 stakeholders across public and private sectors: developers, architects/building designers, government and industry planners and real estate agents. Stakeholders expressed barriers that are well-documented in the literature–such as the risk-averse nature of the finance sector–but also note key regional differences such as land constraints in world heritage areas, poor public transport, distance from supply chains, soaring insurance costs and susceptibility to cyclones. In the face of these challenges, Cairns stakeholders argue for certain forms of MDH alongside strategic planning, leadership, cross-sectoral and community engagement to support effective MDH infill. These insights are pertinent to other regional cities struggling with MDH in low density contexts.

Item ID: 77973
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2150-6841
Keywords: medium density housing; missing middle housing; stakeholder perspectives; Cairns; Australia; regional; sustainable urban growth
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2023 00:23
FoR Codes: 33 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 3304 Urban and regional planning > 330403 Housing markets, development and management @ 30%
33 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 3304 Urban and regional planning > 330411 Urban design @ 40%
33 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 3304 Urban and regional planning > 330406 Regional analysis and development @ 30%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1399 Other culture and society > 139999 Other culture and society not elsewhere classified @ 20%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards > 199999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards not elsewhere classified @ 30%
28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280104 Expanding knowledge in built environment and design @ 50%
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