People in this world vary. Some opt for coffee, others indulge in tea. Some prefer Ferrari, others Lamborghini. Some say the glass is half full, others say it’s half empty.
And when it comes to where we live, some would rather reside in the suburbs in a house with a backyard, indulging in the leafy and green surrounds, while others would rather set up shop in an apartment in the metro districts, amongst a barrage of coffee shops, commerce and carbon monoxide. So, ask yourself, what option would you favour? Unsure? Breathe easy, we’re here to breakdown a few elements to help make up your mind.
Taking a stab in the dark, most of you reading this article more than likely grew up in the burbs with a backyard that closely resembled the household arrangement of the Brady bunch. Chuck in a dog, a few push bikes and some kind of local nature reserve and we’re probably pretty close to literally capturing your childhood. Families have migrated to the burbs over the decades as a result of population growth and urbanisation. However, that trend is slowly changing. Though most people still live in separate houses, the percentage has fallen from around 86% in the 80’s to just 76% today. This trend doesn’t show any signs of stopping either.
But where has this come from? Why are we ditching the dream of Gatsby like living for the hustle and bustle of the city? It basically boils down to demographic changes inspired somewhat by societal progression. People are living longer, getting married later, having less, if having any children at all, and living younger longer than the generations preceding them. This has inspired the broader youth to opt for inner city living which warrants a, generally speaking, vibrant social scene with plenty of options on offer all within a stones throw.
This isn’t to say houses have lost their value, or that they’re only reserved for people who are knocking on the door of a nursing home. A large proportion of the population to still call a house a home. But what is best for whom? What district of living is best suited to your needs and wants?
Apartment design experienced a humble phase throughout the 60’s and 70’s. Blocks of units were made up of bricks on bricks with shoebox balconies and below average windows. Needless to say, they were rather depressing erections that scattered the skyline through the metro and inner city areas, occupied by folks who couldn’t afford anything else. They became home to stereotypes of the poor, intellectuals and artists. For the majority, they weren’t the go to for living options.
How times have changed. Contemporary design mixed a dynamic, 24/7 world has led to apartments becoming the best and most convention alternative appropriate for a large portion of people’s living needs. Development in construction design has transformed the apartment domain, through ground-breaking innovations in things like steel fabrication and application. Modern units now boast bigger balconies, nice carpet, gyms, saunas, theatres and innovation in construction capacity has led to a large number offering spectacular views. Old apartments have even been completely renovated to incorporate the old, timeless architectural designs alongside the new and modern trends.
Apartment living suit a large number of people and are catering to the changing trends of our globalised and nonstop society – hence the increase in their share. Singles, couples without children, young executives and people craving the traffic of society are the sorts opting to live in apartments.
Apartments are like lifestyle construction sets: you can mix and match the things they offer to suit what you need. Gyms, swimming pools, coffee shops, restaurants; many apartment blocks have all these facilities and more, and you can take advantage of them, or not, as you please.
Home is where the heart is, and in the past most of us have put our hearts in the suburbs. Separate houses with yards are the most common form of dwelling in this country and have been for many years.
Living in a house is desirable because it really feels like iyour own home, (despite the bank probably owning a considerable portion due to your mortgage). You’re not sharing your building with dozens of other people, you don’t have to worry about the person above you blasting Justin Bieber at one in the morning, there’s space for your dog out the back or even other animals, room for you kids to roam (somewhat) free and for you to indulge in other outdoor pursuits.
For families, a home in the suburbs is still the iconic living dream. Suburbs have facilities for children such as playgrounds and skate parks that you just don’t always find in the city, and the entire atmosphere is just more kid friendly and safer. Plenty of kids have grown up in cities over the years, but suburban living is still where most want to establish their families.
Where is it all Headed?
Is the trend towards apartment living going to continue, or are we going to shift back towards traditional suburban living? Hard to predict, and really, it doesn’t make that much difference as to which lifestyle is best for you. Who cares about trends? It’s about where you want to live and what is most appropriate for your needs,
However, there’s nothing wrong with looking into what people are going to be doing in the future. As Australia’s population increases and expands, people wanting to dwell closer to the city are going to have to settle for an apartment. Most Australian cities are sprawling, but there’s only so far they can go until it borders on ridiculous. For this reason, apartment living will no doubt go up. Fitting people into an apartment is simply more efficient than fitting a few people into a house, while taking up a similar amount of land. In extremely dense cities such as New York, apartment, or at least townhouse, living is the norm. While Australia might have a long way to go before we reach such a situation, our cities will inevitably move in a similar direction as they become denser. Melbourne is very much in the process of consolidating its expanding and rapidly growing population.
In a more environmentally conscious paired with an ever growing population, apartments have another advantage. Land developments for suburban homes inevitably have to erode the wilderness and habitats of our fellow creatures. Fitting more people into a smaller area, benefits the environment as it minimises the need to remove flora and fauna, maintaining a strong notion of ecological sustainability for the surrounds.
When you break it all down, homes and apartments offer different advantages for different people. For the young, the mobile and the socialites among us, apartment living is the best route to pursue. However, those with families and those who value their privacy, space and independence might find the suburbs more appropriate. There’s no real answer to the question ‘which is better’, but there is a right and wrong answer for you personally, it all comes down to circumstance.