Publication Details

Kerr, S. (2018). With apartment living on the rise, how do families and their noisy children fit in?. The Conversation, 9 January 1-4.

Link to publisher version (URL)



A growing number of Australians live in apartments. The compact city model presents many benefits. However, living close to each other also presents challenges. Rapid growth in apartment developments in recent decades has led to a rise in noise-related complaints and disputes across urban Australia. Households with children are on the front line of such tensions. They are one of the fastest-growing demographics living in apartments. Analysis of the latest census data show, for instance, that families with children under the age of 15 comprise 25% of Sydney's apartment population. Apartment design and cultural acceptance of families in the vertical city have not kept pace with this shift in housing forms. Cultural expectations that families with children ought to live in detached houses are persistent. Apartment planners and developers reproduce these expectations by neglecting children in building design and marketing. With children's sounds being difficult to predict or control, changing apartment demographics are an issue for planners and residents alike.