Conference paper
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At the bequest of the state many local governments in NSW have developed integrated urban strategies since the mid-nineties. These were guided by the state governments advocacy of new urbanism incorporating ecological sustainable development principals. The city of Lake Macquarie has been more pro active than most in completing its strategy and therefore offers an interesting case study. Lake Macquarie is adjacent to Newcastle and is characterised by low-density suburbs and underdeveloped town centres. Through planning for higher densities the new urban strategy aims to make these towns vibrant commercial, cultural and employment nodes. Importantly the council hopes to make these town centres more accessible to greater population by promoting affordability in housing. However, this paper questions whether the planning parameters set in its strategy will actually achieve these objectives. It notes that an inadequate understanding of the development process will retard planners ability to achieve their vision, and to date has led to an over enthuses on design issues. Most notably housing affordability appears to have been a casualty in the early stage of implementing this strategy.

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