Breathing spaces in inner urban neighbourhoods in Sydney: The impact of sustainable open spaces

Mamun Rashid, Dilshad Rahat Ara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Given the drive for densification in New South Wales planning policies in the last few decades, the issue of natural features and green spaces is now of great concern among urban residents and researchers. Having outdoor spaces is challenging in a dense urban setting of inner areas, where spaces are at a premium. Moreover, within context of scarcity of open areas in the inner city, spaces within the building such as inner courtyards or balconies have the potential to serve as outdoor or open green spaces. Here, we examine a crucial question — do the users in higher density setting value the outdoor spaces and greenery? This article investigates a residential development in inner Sydney using survey and observations. The buildings in these complexes were arranged in a designed master plan, with close proximity to parks. The paper broadens the concept and extent of conventional outdoor spaces to areas within the buildings. Also highlighted is the importance of these spaces by identifying various functions that are actually carried out by users in these spaces. The findings improve our understanding of the physical characteristics of designed spaces that may influence social contact and provide evidence that greenery plays an important role in creating useful outdoor spaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Sustainability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Ecological sustainability
  • Inner urban neighbourhood
  • Open spaces
  • Space use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science


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