Ten lessons from cities that have risen to the affordable housing challenge

Imagine planning a public transport system for a large city by providing one bus at a time on one route that might serve a few dozen people (but nobody knows how many). That is what planning for housing affordability looks like in most Australian capital cities: innovative projects take years to develop and never get scaled up into a system.

Who can we learn from? In July, the lead author returned to three cities comparable to Melbourne that she visited in 2015 – Vancouver, Portland and Toronto – to re-interview key housing actors and review investment and policy changes over the past three years. All have big housing affordability problems, caused by a strong economy and 30 years of largely unregulated speculative housing. A lack of federal government involvement has exacerbated these problems.

But these four cities have recently developed very different approaches to housing systems planning, with increasingly divergent results. Toronto has gone backwards. Vancouver and Portland, though, are reaping the rewards of good metropolitan policy, from which we have drawn ten lessons for Melbourne.

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Source: The Conversation