Living the High (rise) Life


There are plenty of great reasons why many people are flocking to the cities and enjoying the inner-city lifestyle of apartment living – lifestyle and convenience being chief benefits.

Last year, the Victorian Government commissioned a survey of apartment dwellers, developers and local government across the state to find out the best and worst aspects of apartment living. According to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the survey kick-started a state-wide conversation to help shape potential future apartment design guidelines and mechanisms.

The Victorian Government will develop draft guidelines that are expected to be available for public comment by the middle of this year.

Victoria’s survey revealed that living space ranked at almost the same importance as daylight. In fact 76% of respondents indicated they would support a minimum apartment size.

Victoria's ELWP survey results
Based on that result, one avenue the government may consider is following the lead of New South Wales and provide minimum guidelines for apartment sizes.

Mr Stokes will specify 35 square metres for studios, 50 square metres for one-bedroom apartments and 70 square metres for two-bedroom apartments when he publishes a review of the planning guidelines at the end of the month.

The minimum for three-bedroom apartments will be reduced to 90 square metres from the existing 95 square metres, based on a unit with just one bathroom. Additional bathrooms would increase the size by a further five square metres. Any additional bedroom boosts the minimum apartment size by 12 square metres each.

And it’s not just floor area which concerns many apartment dwellers, functional space is just as important as size.

The general view is that:

  • Setting minimum standards for room sizes within an apartment is more beneficial than setting minimum standards for an overall apartment size.
  • Provision of a variety of apartments (i.e. with different numbers of bedrooms) will help meet the needs of a diversity of households.
  • Adequate storage space contributes to apartment amenity.

Of all the disadvantages of apartment living limited storage space was the number one bugbear (look for the article on our web site next month that looks at clever storage ideas we love!)

ApartmentLivingLeastMost

You can find the executive summary here and full survey results here.



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