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Urban sprawl. Unley pain. Greenery death.

September 13, 2015

While I can understand the rationale behind the State Government’s bold plan to halt the urban sprawl, the drawing of a line in the sand will mean that  those inner suburbs that are already stretched to bursting point will be called upon to absorb an ever-increasing share of the population.

Take, for example, Unley, which has the unenviable distinction of  being the City with the highest per-square-kilometre population… 2733, twice the number for the City square mile (to mix imperial and metric!). And which has the smallest amount of open space of any of the metropolitan councils at just over two percent.

Despite these figures, the State Government is insisting that, in the next few decades, Unley will have to absorb an extra 5000 people. Some of this figure will obviously have to be high-rise, given the above-mentioned open space. But all is not too rosy on that front, with a high-rise development begun in the area about four years ago having a take-up so far of only 80 apartments out of 140,..

What will happen if the market stays that way is for the extra 5000 coming from  infill, with a detrimental effect on Unley’s “urban forest”?. Already the City’s greenery is disappearing at an alarming rate,. and even where the Council has instigated a “green corridor” on Randolph Avenue, it does little to compensate for the disappearing act on the road’s northern side, where five stand-alone villa homes have vanished in recent times, to be replaced with 20 or so townhouses sitting on a vast, heat -creating concrete slab..

Unley Council has 26,000 trees, many of them street trees. A large number are going to disappear at the same time, thanks to a major planting programme undertaken three or four decades ago. I have already expressed my  concern that only a small percentage a year are being replaced, a figure which I believe would need to be doubled if we are not going to face trouble.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Ian S permalink
    September 18, 2015 6:39 pm

    There’s no point in crying into your beer. Unley lacks a clear development plan on how to create denser living while at the same time consolidating open space called ‘the 1/4 acre lot’ and reducing the gross over use of the private motor vehicle. Look to The Netherlands for how to do that. That would be a move a heretic would suggest. Call me a heretic then.

    NIMBY syndrome is alive and well.


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