Last week I met with a lady to talk about property. The conversation quickly turned to development and the future direction of Melbourne. A baby boomer herself, she worried about the strong NIMBY culture (not in my backyard) that was prevalent.
Human rationale generally flies in the opposite direction of having a sky scraper city. Yet dense cities have enormous benefits especially in a world expanding rapidly.
A man who knows all too well about the benefits of denser cities is Edward Glaeser who is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University.
His most recent book Triumph of the City makes a great case for building vertical cities rather than sprawling ones.
If you get 30 minutes, this article summarises Edwards points quite well.
This reminds me a lot of what’s happening in Melbourne at the moment and indeed many other parts of this country.
Our current way of tackling housing shortages is to keep pushing out. Massive sprawling housing estates are booming – my fear is this will end badly for those residents.
Much of this is to do with the way we restrict development and height restrictions in capital cities. Pricing of property hinges on supply v demand. With supply under threat, people are forced into amenity poor locations.
“Cities connect humanity”
I think Edward makes a fantastic point by this one sentence. Cities are a melting pot of ideas, productivity and social interactions. It’s no surprise that many of the great inventions and human achievements have evolved from cities such as New York, Paris and London.
In essence; this is what attracts the majority of us to live close to the city.