Housing demands is one of the big issues facing the Surat Basin.
Housing demands is one of the big issues facing the Surat Basin. AAP

Getting used to inner-city living

GOLD Coast families heading to the Tweed so they can own a house with a backyard have been warned to wake up to reality and realise the future lies in city living.

Griffith University professor Paul Burton has warned that the quarter-acre backyard block is slowly but surely disappearing on the Gold Coast and young people especially must come to grips with the reality that the great Australian dream of home ownership is taking a new direction.

““The Gold Coast of the future will grow upwards, not just outwards,” said Professor Burton, who is deputy director of Griffith University's Urban Research Program.

Managing population growth by pushing people farther and farther away from city services was simply not sustainable, he said.

Many people wanted to live in the region because of the accessibility to the beaches, jobs and services but they won't get that by living long distances away from them, he said.

“Simply releasing more and more land on outer suburban fringes and passing the cost of infrastructure on to the general ratepayer is not the answer,” he said.

“Traffic congestion would increase on already clogged-up roads and the typical house would keep expanding at the expense of backyards.”

Developers must start delivering higher quality yet more affordable smaller homes, clustered at higher densities that can support essential services, Prof Burton said.

“As well as building more homes to suit different tastes and different pockets, we need to think about growing our communities and the sense of place that rarely comes from sprawling suburbs, where a person can't function without a car,” he said.

Professor Burton is one of 16 speakers due to address the Turning Point 2010 development industry conference at Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort Hotel this Thursday.

Tweed Economic Development Corporation chairman Tom Senti is leading a Tweed contingent of businesspeople to the conference.

Retired master planner Geoff Burchill will also speak at the conference.

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