The new backyard is bigger than you think

By George Massoud, Design Director

The new backyard is bigger than you think

By George Massoud, Design Director

  • 01

    What we know

    The big backyard has driven big suburbs and big cities that are increasingly too expensive to live in.

  • 02

    What we can do

    Design for medium and high density development that supports an intensity of uses with no loss of liveability and an increase in amenity.

  • 03

    What it means

    The evolution of how we live will see less emphasis on large homes and wasted space and more focus on practicality, flexibility, amenity and social connection.

Once, on a plane, I sat next to a Czech tourist returning home to Europe after a long holiday in Australia. As I asked her what she thought of the country, she gestured expansively with outstretched arms and exclaimed: “There’s SO much room to breathe!” Yes, I laughed. We’re a big country. And, as it turns out, with our population increasing by one new person every 1 minute and 23 seconds, getting bigger every day.

The growth of Australia’s population over the last several decades has meant that governments, city planners and developers have had to rethink the Australian penchant for a single family dwelling on a suburban quarter acre block. The cost of continually pushing outward on the urban fringe, both in terms of infrastructure needs but also the time cost and isolation that comes from increasingly lengthy commutes, just isn’t sustainable anymore.

Australia may seem like a big place, but when so much of the country is either uninhabitable or too expensive to live in, we have to find more creative ways to give people a shot at home ownership while at the same time maintaining their room to breathe.

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