Apartment living is seen as a desirable long-term option, but people who live in apartments have a lower usage of public transport than might be assumed, according to new research by the City Futures Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

These results come from the first stage of a two year research program on apartment residents in Sydney, which involved a telephone survey of 701 households.

The next stage of the research, launched this week, is an on-line survey, which can be accessed here. Sydney apartment residents who complete the survey can go into a prize draw to win a $500 voucher for Freedom Furniture (terms and conditions on the website. Authorised under NSW Permit No. LTPS/07/27212).

The initial telephone survey found:• Most apartment dwellers see this form of housing as appropriate to their current and future housing needs: 68% of people surveyed agreed that living in an apartment suited their lifestyle and 43% said that they saw apartment living as their preferred long term housing option. • Of those who saw apartments as their preferred long term housing option, outright owners, older people and singles dominated.• Even though a high proportion of those surveyed (89%) reported that their access to public transport was either good or ideal, only 35% of respondents used public transport on a daily basis. However, data from the 2001 census found that around 19% of people in Sydney used public transport to get to work, indicating that apartment dwellers still use public transport more often than the population as a whole.

The survey, carried out between 12th September and 14th October by Nielsen Ltd. for the City Futures Research Centre, is part of a wider research project examining the perceptions, experiences and behaviour of households living in apartments.

The research aims to discover whether higher density housing is achieving the social and community outcomes espoused by recent metropolitan strategies both in Australia and overseas, including Sydney's Metropolitan Strategy, that strongly promote higher density housing as a solution to the issues of growth and environmental performance of cities.

Media Contact: Dr Hazel Easthope, City Futures Research Centre tel. (02) 9385 6041 or Victoria Brown, UNSW Media Office, tel. (02) 9385 3263, 0412 980 044 or v.brown@unsw.edu.au.

Date Issued: 31 October 2007