The latest academic study relevant to unit development finds it is not necessary to intensify land-use across Sydney before significant improvement in both patronage and economic efficiency becomes possible.
(SMH Wednesday, 5 January 2011, ‘Units not crucial for good public transport, study finds’). I bet the poor suffering commuters of Sydney were relieved to read this, as they waited for yet another late and over crowded bus or train to take them back to work after their holiday break.
While units may not be crucial for good public transport, as the study finds, I would argue the converse must be true; public transport is crucial for good unit development.
Alternatives to oil based mobility including local walkways and bikeways become more likely if a unit development is located on a well-serviced public transport line so people might live without a car at all.
The pick up and go car hire services operating in Pyrmont, the ones where you get an SMS code to access a hire car left in a dedicated roadside parking space near your building by the last user and take it for a couple of hours are making it just that little bit easier not to own a car at all. The same concept for urban bike hire is operating in Brisbane and allows you to hire a take a bike from one part of the CBD and drop it at the other end when you are done.
These different types of easy access and affordable forms of local transportation will appeal to unit dwellers choosing unit accommodation for environmental and financial reasons. These modern unit dwellers would rather have more parking options for shared cars and bikes on their common property than double bays for cars they don’t want to own, but only if the public transport network around them can get them to and from work with reasonable ease and comfort each day.