Australian cities have undergone profound reforms over recent decades, as politicians, decision-makers and planners have sought to ensure our built environments remain liveable and can adapt to new lifestyles and demographic trends. Urban consolidation is one of these reforms. Urban consolidation is a growth management policy that aims to direct growth away from green-field sites at the metropolitan periphery by increasing density in existing built environments, through smaller suburban lots and higher density dwellings – especially within the inner city. Proponents of consolidation argue it will lead to more efficient use of existing infrastructure and services, while simultaneously delivering multiple benefits such as:
protecting valuable green-spaces on the fringes of metropolitan areas; reducing traffic congestion and pollution, and even combating obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
But various community groups and urban scholars have criticised urban consolidation, arguing that it compromises the character and heritage of inner-city neighbourhoods, for example by losing precious public open space to urban infill, by placing residents in noisy locations, by concentrating social disadvantage, and by potentially undermining social cohesion.
The purpose of the literature review is to enable a comparative analysis of the amount and quality of public urban and open space in other capital
cities relative to Brisbane, considering examples of successful public spaces and their characteristics (e.g. dimensions, function, land use context and so forth). In the review we also consider, wherever possible, existing and emerging leisure patterns, employment patterns, housing preferences, household structure, lifestyle preferences, travel patterns, location preferences and the interrelationships between these factors.