The Australian dream: a house, kids and a good backyard. Sure, we may not all share that dream, but Australian cities have a depressing tendency to sprawl. High-density living is unfashionable, unless it’s in the CBD, in which case it’s likely to be unaffordable for most people. So, we’re stuck with continuous development of any flat land within an hour’s drive from the city, with a road network strained beyond its limits and the loss of amenity that results. It’s not the fault of anyone in particular, but it will need to change, and there are promising signs of improved planning practices cropping up across the globe. In my own backyard, Varsity Lakes has some encouraging features which promote moderately high density living in a functional way which does nothing to compromise a good lifestyle.
Dubai flies in the face of that type of planning. Tyler Caine over at Intercon has written an excellent article explaining why, among other things, a series of islands making the shape of a globe is offensive to anyone who cares about our collective future. If I could sum it up in one sentence, it would be as follows: Just because we can develop in the face of environmental conditions, that doesn’t mean we should. Check it out!