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Prosperity and the Suburban Dream: quality of life and affordability in western Sydney

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Over the past 10 years Sydney has experienced a remarkable wave of economic prosperity and growth, partly due to its developing role as a regionally significant global city. Through this period, maintaining the quality of life in the city has been regarded as particularly important. Yet traditional accounts of the global city have stressed quality-of-life features of the inner city. In this paper I examine the implications of the prosperity of global Sydney for the quality of life of western Sydney, paying particular attention to environmental amenity and the affordability of housing. The paper argues, first, that growth in the Sydney region has depended upon continued growth in western Sydney. It highlights key instances in which residents have resisted developments associated with this growth and regarded as major threats to the environmental amenity of the region. Second, the paper argues that the prosperity of Sydney, combined with changes to government policy, have impacted upon the supply of affordable rental housing in western Sydney. This is particularly significant in the case of public housing. Managing growth in the city will require attention to managing quality-of-life issues in the metropolis as a whole.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-11-01

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