Page 5109 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 28 November 2017

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in place. Therefore, it is important that Canberra, as the nation’s capital, takes a national leadership role on housing design and delivery.

I have taken the opportunity to visit leading cities in Europe, Asia and the US to understand how innovative housing topologies can benefit residents and their communities. In Berlin, Germany, I saw how a co-housing model works in modern urban cities. Co-housing provides a level of housing diversity that is innovative yet affordable and has become a standard part of Berlin’s housing market.

In Copenhagen, Denmark, I saw how car parking for residential buildings is not on site but in a centralised location up to 200 metres away. This creates a safer, more active communal street level with reduced driveway crossings and vehicle movements. The car park locations are built as multipurpose community areas featuring green space, playgrounds and recreational spaces.

In Singapore I visited an urban rooftop aquaponics farm which produces commercial quantities of crops in the heart of the urban area. In Seattle the eco-district showcases the importance of housing diversity in an area and it allows people to upsize, downsize and age in place while continuing to live in their suburb as their needs shift. I saw how affordable housing can be incorporated into existing building leases by a separate stratum leasing. Seattle’s art centre redevelopment added social housing to the building in this way, with the new centre benefiting from new facilities on the same tenure and new residents benefiting from new accommodation in the central location.

These international examples show some of the positive influences that housing diversity and innovative design can have on the health, safety and social qualities of a population. There are also less visible economic and environmental benefits, such as reduced land and energy use through transport efficiencies, and more compact and shared land use.

We must now focus on creating the right conditions for industry and the community to work towards achieving more housing choice for more people here in Canberra. Investigations into suitable sites for demonstration housing are already underway but will be informed through engagement with the community. We expect that a range of sites and precincts will be available for these projects, ranging from residential zoned sites suitable for small-scale developments through to larger mixed use sites suitable for higher density urban renewal projects.

I have spoken previously on the importance of collaboration between government, industry and the community being key to achieving a shared vision for future innovation, and we now have a plan for how this shared vision will be achieved for innovative demonstration housing. Our engagement and urban renewal teams in the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate will shortly commence a program of industry and community engagement on housing choices and demonstration housing.

By coordinating the new policy development with the opportunity to illustrate and test new innovations in a simultaneous, integrated and real world way we will ensure that

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