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The Concept Of The “Walkable Neighbourhood”

One of the things you might notice when you see large property developments being built is that they tend to be centred around infrastructure and amenities such as train stations, shopping centres and entertainment.   It seems obvious that people want to live near these things, and they may even pay more for a wider selection of high quality facilities.   Combine this with the fact that people want a healthier and more active lifestyle and would prefer to walk to shopping, fitness facilities or to entertainment, and it becomes clear why inner city “villages” are becoming more and more popular with investors, owner-occupiers and tenants alike.

The Victorian Government is now looking at the concept of the “walkable neighbourhood”, in which suburbs are all planned around a 20-minute walking distance – so it would take no more than 20 minutes to walk to public transport, retail or educational facilities.[1]  The idea, called Plan Melbourne, is to create new neighbourhoods that conform to these guidelines, based not only on great design, density and forward thinking, but also on the facilities and transport links in surrounding suburbs.  This would mean that new neighbourhoods would be truly integrated in the greater region around them.

Instead of residents getting into a car and driving to the supermarket or having to drive to the train station, developers are considering ways to encourage people to leave the car at home and walk instead.  The health benefits from this change in town and suburb planning could be enormous, with the National Physical Activity Guidelines suggesting that we should all be aiming to do at least 30 minutes of medium physical activity on as many weekdays as possible for optimal health.

It also makes sense for developers to foster this kind of design and planning for properties in existing inner city suburbs, and one of the best property investment tips is too look for these mini “villages” when looking for suitable apartments to purchase.  Some neighbourhoods are already well served by shopping, transport, education and entertainment – South Bank in Brisbane, Docklands in Melbourne and suburbs in Sydney’s North Shore are all good examples – and should be targeted by anyone looking for a sustainable investment.  With more and more people wanting to live in properties close to major city centres, and with convenience and lifestyle at the top of their priority list, these well-connected and vibrant suburbs will continue to be a popular choice well into the future.

Another property investment tip is to find experts who have knowledge and experience in the areas you are considering.  For example, finding a property management company such as Ironfish that has a range of opportunities in these popular inner city locations can give you an unbeatable advantage in this fast-paced market.  They can give you access to exclusive pre-public and pre-negotiated properties, as well as teaching you ways to build a successful property portfolio for your future wealth and prosperity.



[1] http://www.bis.com.au/the_walkable_city.html/section/4461

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