Unhealthy high rise

unhealthy high riseLeading Sydney architects and urban designers believe that many (if not most) of Sydney’s high rise apartment buildings are inherently unhealthy.They are calling for a rethink on the design of residential apartments.

Existing buildings with long, dark corridors, windy balconies and little cross-ventilation are damaging people’s health and well-being.

The buildings are described themselves as being ‘sick’.

There is a call for buildings to support “gentle urbanism” which rejects the bulky footprint design for 10 to 30 storey towers in favour of a slim footprint building with generous setbacks and deep rooted landscaping.

The enlightened’ architects are concerned that where towers rise too far above the street, whilst people may gain views they can no longer step out and talk to friends on the street. However, restricting the footprint of buildings, within the context of planning laws, results in the delivery of buildings needing to be far higher.

In reality, the pronouncements of these reformist architects could be termed ‘a cry into the sky’. Development economics, legal entitlement and government strategies that demand the housing of an increasing population cannot be achieved without a massive increase in the footprint of the city resulting in unsustainable need for costly infrastructure and the loss of productive land on the outskirts of the city. Fostering ‘urban sprawl’ generates as many problems as the architects are dreaming of solving.

Source: Architects say towers a health risk by Linda Morris, SMH, 1 October 1918 p.4



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