Suburbia in Australia is giving way to ‘apartmentia’ argues Australia’s leading demographer, Bernard Salt (Project Apartment, The Australian September 6-7, 2014).
Salt concludes suburbia might well remain the repository of families and others for a generation but there are new segments, new lifestyles and new ways of living that will drive demand for bigger, denser, and more powerful Australian apartmentia in the future.
If the attributes of suburbia include quietness, space, solitude and conservatism, what then should we expect of the new apartmentia, a place where all these things are in shorter supply?
Surely living in apartments in closer proximity to one another, sharing floors, walls and ceilings, using facilities in common and attracting diversity in household formation must be the antithesis of suburbia?
Inherently the concept of apartmentia then calls for a little less personal freedom than one might enjoy on a quarter acre block with a white picket fence, and here lies the challenge of this bigger, denser and potentially more powerful way of living.
So far, it seems few get that we are moving to little democratic sub-societies where self-governance reigns and reasonableness is in short supply.