I think I've finally come up with an idea for my masters thesis, and thought I'd put it out there for general constructive/destructive criticism (be gentle!)
This is based on the current trend in Western Australia (although, I'm sure it's happening everywhere) to knock down single dwellings on quarter acre blocks and construct 3-4 dwellings in its place, with little or no backyard (yes, the time honoured tradition of urban infill). The State planning Minister has said that she wants 60% of new homes in the next 20 years to be in established urban areas.
Dude, whereís my backyard?
Basically it seems that all the people responsible for pushing higher density living (Baby Boomer generations, and early-Xers) have already had their childhood with a big backyard on a quarter-acre block. Now that theyíve grown up, they seem to have forgotten about the importance of this on child development. Nowadays children canít go to parks, because itís not safe (a generalisation, of course - parents are too scared to let them go anywhere), and canít go out in the backyard, because the parents chopped it off to sell to someone else to make money. Iím not suggesting (yet) whether higher density is good or bad, but it seems the people responsible for making the decision have already had the benefit during their childhood, but are removing the benefit for the current generation of children.
If you think this idea has legs, or can think of anything pertinent I should be looking at, your help would be most appreciated. I spent some time living in downtown Toronto (loved every second), and could therefore compare the situation here with the high-rise apartment living that is quite prevalent there (there's very little of it here in Perth, comparatively speaking).
Could this topic be fleshed out later for a PhD thesis?
Thanks for any help!