This chapter is focused on the angst experienced by Australian elite suburbs in the age of the ‘compact city’, and the associated pressure for higher density residential redevelopment. Mosman and Toorak have been at the forefront of local resistance to urban consolidation, with fierce campaigns initiated by individuals and organised groups fighting to preserve the low-density character of their suburb. In this chapter, I describe the dramatic clashes between a range of stakeholders: state and local governments renegotiating the boundaries of their urban planning powers; local and foreign developers riding the emerging wave of opportunity afforded by the compact city agenda; and powerful local residents who invest much of their economic, social, and cultural capitals to stop the densification of their suburb. The matter at stake here was never merely the physical form of buildings, rather elite class identities, dreams, prestige, and angst.
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