Are We Living with Our Heads in the Clouds? Perceptions of Liveability in the Melbourne High-Rise Apartment Market

  • Sarah HoldsworthEmail author
  • David Kenny
  • Jeremy Cooke
  • Shaun Matfin
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


Housing in the Melbourne metropolitan area is in the midst of a push towards intensification through increased densification of high-rise apartment dwellings. This reflects similar international trends in housing provision, a consequence of increasing global populations and the need to intensify land use in the quest for more sustainable urban areas. However, the Melbourne housing market is inexperienced in the planning, design, delivery and habitation of high-rise development. Evolving planning legislation, which draws on existing international high-rise planning policy, recognises that current developments entering the market are lagging behind international standards in relation to the degree of liveability these buildings afford residents. This chapter examines the characteristics of liveability and design in the context of high-rise residential developments which include consideration of building amenity, apartment amenity and external amenity. It then presents the findings of 13 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders involved in the design and construction of high-rise apartments in Melbourne’s CBD. The interviews explore perceptions of liveability as they inform and consequently manifest in current projects. The findings identified that liveability is a subjective term encompassing a variety of characteristics which different stakeholder groups emphasised differently based on their disciplinary background. The findings are important as there exists a limited understanding of how the industry conceptualises high-rise developments and in turn makes design and development decisions in the context of liveability. Further, it was recognised that all participants wanted to improve the liveability of their development and were prepared to collaborate across discipline to achieve such outcomes. This goal will not be achieved if interdisciplinary understandings are not identified, shared and built into the process.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah Holdsworth
    • 1
    Email author
  • David Kenny
    • 2
  • Jeremy Cooke
    • 2
  • Shaun Matfin
    • 2
  1. 1.Sustainable Building Innovation Laboratory, School of Property Construction and Project ManagementRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Property Construction and Project ManagementRMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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