Milica Muminovic, Holly Caton



Among existing and anticipated changes in global urbanisation and population growth, the challenge of retrofitting suburbia within sustainable cities needs to be considered.  However, given the opposing nature of sustainability and suburbia, this task is not easy.  Different approaches have tried to define the theory for achieving sustainable cities, but the nature of suburbia presents issues in densification, as density is perceived to limit the liveability and importantly the private sphere that makes suburbia desirable.  To begin addressing sustainability in suburbia, the question of how to densify suburbs while maintaining their liveable quality, needs to be addressed. Focusing on the case of Canberra the paper builds a framework for discussing these questions within analysis of suburb density, behavioural studies and the public private interface.  In doing so, it is evident that sustaining suburbia through densification, within the context of sustainable cities, cannot be considered without recognising morphology and the need for, and integration of, the public private interface.


sustainable city; sustainable suburbia; public-private interface; green space

Full Text:



Aalen, F. H. A. (1992). English Origins in S. V. Ward (Ed.), The Garden City: Past, Present and Future. London and New York Spon Press.

Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS] (2012).3218.0- Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2009-10. Retrieved from Australian Bureau of Statistics:

Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS] (2017a).2016 Census QuickStats-Franklin(ACT). Retrieved from Australian Bureau of Statistics:

Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS] (2017b). 3218.0- Regional Population Growth Australia, 2014-15. Retrieved from Australian Bureau of Statistics:

ACT Government (2004) The Canberra Spatial Plan. Canberra: Act Planning & Land Authority. Retrieved from:

ACT Government (2008) The Canberra Plan: Towards Our Second Century, Canberra: Chief Minister's Department. Retrieved from:

ACT Government (2009) People, Place, Prosperity: The ACT’s Sustainability Policy, Retrieved from:

ACT Government (2012) ACT Planning Strategy: Planning for a Sustainable City, Canberra: Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate. Retrieved from:

ACT Government (2013) Residential Zones in ACT, Canberra: Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate, Retrieved from:

ACT Government (2017a) Franklin, Canberra: The Suburban Land Agency. Retrieved from:

ACT Government (2017b) Previous Developments, Canberra: The Suburban Land Agency. Retrieved from

ACT Government and Elton Consulting (2010) Time to Talk Canberra 2030: Outcomes Report, Canberra: ACT Government.

Adams, R. (2011). Reprogramming Cities for Increased Populations and Climate Change. In E. a. A. Charlesworth, R. (Ed.), The EcoEdge: urgent design challenges in building sustainable cities (pp. 30-38). London: Routledge

Ambrey, C., & Fleming, C. (2014). Public Greenspace and Life Satisfaction in Urban Australia. Urban Studies, 51(6), pp. 1290-1321.

Bobic, M. (2004). Between the Edges: Street-building transition as urbanity interface. Bussum (The Netherlands): THOTH Publishers.

Bugliarello, G. (2006). Urban sustainability: Dilemmas, challenges and paradigms. Technology in Society, 28, pp. 19-26.

Choay, F. (1969). The modern city: planning in the 19th century (M. Hugo & G. P. Collins, Trans.). London: Studio Vista.

Crabtree, L. (2005). Sustainable Housing Development in Urban Australia: exploring obstacles to and opportunities for ecocity efforts. Australian Geographer, 36(3), pp. 333-350.

Davison, A. (2006). Stuck in a Cul-de-Sac? Suburban History and Urban Sustainability in Australia. Urban Policy and Research, 24(2), pp. 201-216.

Gehl, J. (2011). Life Between Buildings: Using Public Space (6 ed.). Washington: Island Press.

Gehl, J. and Svarre, B. (2013). How to study public life. Washington: Island Press.

Grant, J. (2002). Mixed Use in Theory and Practice: Canadian Experience with Implementing a Planning Principle. Journal of the American Planning Association, 68(1), pp. 71-84.

Hall, T. (2015). What has Happened to the Australian Backyard? Australian Garden History, 27(2), pp. 12-15.

Headon, M. (2013). An ideal city. In D. Headon & A. MacKenzie (Eds.), Canberra Red, Stories from the Bush Capital (pp. 61-84). Sydney Allen and Unwin.

Jabareen, Y. R. (2006). Sustainable Urban Forms: Their Typologies, Models and Concepts. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 26, pp. 38-52.

Jacobs, J. (1961). The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Random House

Kashef, M. (2009). Sense of community and residential space: contextualizing New urbanism within a broader theoretical framework. Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, 3 (3), pp. 80-97.

Ramage, E. S. (1973). Urbanitas: ancient sophistication and refinement. Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press for the University of Cincinnati.

Roisman, F. W. (1998). Sustainable Developments in Suburbs and Their Cities: The Environmental and Financial Imperatives of Racial, Ethnic, and Economic Inclusion. Widener Law Symposium Journal, 3, pp. 87-118.

Talen, E. (2011). Sprawl retrofit: sustainable urban form in unsustainable places. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 38, pp. 952-978.

Taylor, K. (2007). Canberra. City in the Landscape. Canberra: Halstead Press and The National Capital Authority.

Vernon, C. (2006). Canberra: where landscape is pre-eminent. In D. Gordon (Ed.), Planning Twentieth Century Capital Cities (pp. 130-149). London and New York Routledge

Ward, S. V. (Ed.) (1992). The Garden City: Past, Present and Future. London and New York: Spon Press.

Watson, F. (1927). A Brief History of Canberra the Capital City of Australia. Canberra: Federal Capital Press.

Williams, K., Joynt, J., & Hopkins, D. (2010). Adapting to Climate Change in the Compact City: The Suburban Challenge. Built Environment, 36(1), pp. 105-115.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Milica Muminovic

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


- ISSN (Online) #1938 7806 - ArchNet-IJAR is covered by ArchNet@ MIT Libraries, Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, EBSCO, CNKI, Pro-Quest, Scopus-Elsevier, Web of Science.

- Published work in ArchNet-IJAR is licensed under Creative Commons: CC-BY--NC-ND license, see

Copyrights © Archnet-IJAR 2007-2018


Hit Counter
Visitor Hits Since 15 Jan 2014