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The politics of urban renewal in Sydney’s residential apartment market


  • Laurence Troy


Australia has long had a deeply speculative housing property market. Arguably this has been accentuated in recent years as successive governments have privileged private-sector investment in housing property as the key mechanism for delivering housing and a concurrent winding back of direct government support for housing. This has occurred through a period in which urban renewal and flexible planning regulation have become the key focus of urban planning policy to deliver on compact city ambitions in the name of sustainability. There has been a tendency to read many of the higher density housing outcomes as a relatively homogenous component of the housing market. There has been a comparative lack of critical engagement with differentiated spatial, physical and socio-economic outcomes within the higher density housing market. This paper will explore the interactions between flexible design-based planning policies, the local property market and physical outcomes. Different parts of the property development industry produced distinctive social and physical outcomes within the same regulatory space. Each response was infused with similar politics of exclusion and privilege in which capacity to pay regulated both access and standard of housing accessible, opening new socio-economic divisions within Australia’s housing landscape.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence Troy, 2018. "The politics of urban renewal in Sydney’s residential apartment market," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 55(6), pages 1329-1345, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:55:y:2018:i:6:p:1329-1345

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