The Australian Housing Affordability Crisis and Reimagining the Australian Dream


In this talk, Sergio Famiano will provide an overview of the Australian Dream with its origins in colonial Australia, and then its transformation immediately following the Second World War with the packaging up of the house and car as the ‘Australian Dream’ as we know it today. Historical Influences such as the post war immigration, the ‘baby boom’, Cold War ideology and the notion of an egalitarian society is considered. Influences such as the Second World War, cheap oil and planning ideology from the United States, which gave rise to suburbia, suburban sprawl and the domination of the automobile over our cities, is also considered. Fast forward to present day Australia and the current Housing Affordability Crisis, Sergio will examine the key moments in history that have caused the Affordability crisis in Australia and its consequences including rising household debt, house sizes, the impact of suburban sprawl, growing urban footprint, environmental impacts, peak oil and automobile dependency, and public health.  The final segment of the presentation will contemplate the rethinking of the Australian Dream and examines the changes that are required to the design of Australian Cities at a Macro-Town Planning level, to support the new Australian Dream.


Sergio Famiano has spent 25 years working in the Town Planning and Development Industry in Perth Western Australia, spending 13 years working for the State Developer (Development WA), leading key transformational projects, such as the Cockburn Coast (Shoreline), Mandurah Junction, the China Green Development in Subiaco, and the Perth City Link project. In recent years Sergio has turned his attention towards the sustainable development of Town Centres in ‘Brownfield’ and ‘New Urban Growth’ areas applying Jan Gehl’s principles of ‘People first’ planning and design. He has also recently brought together a coalition of 15 Local Governments in the Perth Metropolitan area to support the preparation of a ‘Mid Tier Public Transport Strategy’ for Perth that will introduce Light rail and Trackless trams, over the next 10 years. Sergio has spent much of his career at the forefront of implementing change in the planning and development of Perth, applying ‘New Urbanist’ and ‘Transit Oriented Development’ principles, and focusing away from car dominated planning and design. He has an avid interest in Urban Design, Town Centre development, and Housing Affordability and is not afraid to take on a fight to see progress and change in our cities. Recently, Sergio has completed his first book on the ‘Housing Affordability crisis in Australia and Reimagining the Australian Dream’.


This seminar will be streamed using the video conferencing software, Zoom.