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Reimagining our suburbs at Sydney Build

Buchan Senior Associate Carol Leung joined peers for an engaging panel discussion at Sydney Build 2024 on ‘Reimagining Suburbs of NSW: Innovation at the Heart of Design’.

The panel considered the modern definition of a ‘suburb’, evolving perceptions, and the sustainability implications of ongoing urban sprawl, along with the influence of housing policies on ‘good design’.

One key topic explored was the Build to Rent (BTR) model, seen as a solution to provide higher-quality housing and adapt to changing demands. There was also discussion around evolving BTR into ‘Build-To-Rent-To-Buy’, as a way to potentially address the intergenerational housing wealth gap and revitalise neighbourhood communities affected by short-term rentals.

Changes in planning through the new TOD developments and Pattern Book of Housing were also recognised as a positive step forward, but that there was need for more open dialogue between government stakeholders, better oversight and longer-term thinking and a multi-disciplinary design approach to challenge the ways we densify to support a better outcome in the evolution of our suburbs and cities.