Landmark poll of apartment dwellers' views revealed

Landmark poll of apartment dwellers' views revealed
Alastair TaylorMarch 18, 2015

In what is billed as a first, Urban Taskforce Australia has released the results of a poll it commissioned specifically targeting the views of apartment dwellers in the city it calls home, Sydney.

The timing of the poll could not be more pertinent with New South Wales heading to the polls at the end of March and perhaps more importantly with a "Battlelines" Prime Minister in the Lodge, the message from the poll is that people who choose urban living have a different worldview to some of the paint-the-electorate-with-the-same-brush policies of the major parties.

As mentioned above, Urban Taskforce Australia is located and most active in Sydney and Sydney-sider apartment dwellers were the sole target of the poll. It would not be outrageous to assume that had a poll been conducted with similar parameters on a Melburnian sample then there would be a similar outcome given our nation-leading position in the urban development stakes.

On some of the highlights: urban dwellers are generally happy to see more urban growth whereas suburban dwellers are not; across the political spectrum, urban dwellers responded with little enthusiasm when asked the question "I actively fight growth and development plans".

Perhaps the fascinating snippet of the poll is the voting intentions. Again, we must look at this from an outsiders point of view in light of the sample's location and the upcoming state election however this poll smashes the stereotype that urban dwellers generally lean left.

Urban dwellers value lower-car ownership and use, more attractive streetscapes & walkability and 51% of NSW Liberal voters living in an urban dwelling think it's important to live close to Public Transport.

On the importance of car parking in apartment developments there's a clear gap between those who provide the capital - investors - and those who are the clientele - the renters. 81% of Sydney apartment investors think private car parking is important yet only 56% of renters agree - the question must be asked: is there scope to place even less emphasis on car parking in new developments?

The ResearchNow poll splits urban dwellers into four groups: renters, owners, investors and intenders. The first three are self-explanatory, and the 'intenders' are those that aim to live in an apartment.

Political PartyRentersOwnersInvestorsIntenders
'Rather not say'35%25%23%23%

What does this all mean? Well for a start, I look at the data in the table above and see a broad spread of party voting intentions. Assuming a similar result were to be returned on a Melbourne sample, in all the areas outside of the City of Melbourne which are seeing small-scale yet rapid change through apartment development, the North/South of the Yarra blue and red political divide might become more purple in the long run.

The full media release and accompanying poll findings are embedded below (political advisors, influencers and policy-makers would be wise to pay attention to page 2) and be sure to check out further poll data from Urban Taskforce Australia's website.

Lead image credit: flickr.

Alastair Taylor

Alastair Taylor is a co-founder of Now a freelance writer, Alastair focuses on the intersection of public transport, public policy and related impacts on medium and high-density development.

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