The buzzword in real estate is ‘precinct’ – a development that offers experiences and opportunities beyond being a place to live. But are precincts a fad or the future? We examine this exciting new trend in residential living.
Residential precincts are popping up in cities around the globe as mixed-use developments become the sustainable choice. Countries like Sweden and the United States have long enjoyed the greener credentials that these developments provide – and now Australia is benefiting, too, with precincts dotting our major cities and metropolitan areas.
A sustainable solution
Our urban areas face more congestion and carbon pollution as our population increases. Australia’s is predicted to expand to more than 35 million citizens by 2050 with a large percentage of these people living in our urban centres. This is expected to put a further strain on our infrastructure and public utilities that were set up to accommodate an urban density model of eight to 15 detached dwellings per hectare – a number that is largely thought to be unsustainable now.
Apartment precincts provide a more efficient model of high-to-medium density housing than stand-alone apartment blocks. Residents are closer to the transport corridors, shops and services they require, so they spend less time commuting and this reduces congestion of our public transport systems, pedestrian routes and public spaces. Less travel time means less carbon emissions, while the inclusion of green spaces beautifies our cities and provides habitats for local wildlife.
Convenience is key
Convenience is a huge drawcard for residents of apartment precincts, with proximity to shops and services a big plus for busy, time-poor urbanites. Some precincts also incorporate shared public spaces providing chill-out zones for the community. Sydney’s Surry Hills Village, for example, brings together a mix of lush green space, retail and apartment living, just a stone’s throw from sought-after cultural and recreational facilities.
The social benefit
While being able to catch the lift from your apartment door straight to a trendy restaurant, boutique shop or even a subterranean train station is an unbridled convenience, the benefits can extend far beyond that. Apartment precincts operate as social hubs, facilitating the community to eat together, socialise, share ideas and form clubs and committees to solve problems.
They can improve residents’ quality of life in other ways, too. One inspiring example is the Via Verde precinct in South Bronx, New York, that helped improve the health of a poor community suffering from high rates of asthma and obesity. The Via Verde precinct design incorporates improved cross-room ventilation and ceiling fans, as well as staircases near lifts to help fight obesity, a fitness centre and a rooftop garden.
The economic factor
According to property specialist Dr Diaswati Mardiasmo, apartment precincts help stimulate the economy. Mixed-use developments often include leasable retail spaces, creating more jobs and, subsequently, more trade between the local communities and visitors from other areas.
Click here to find out more about TOGA’s latest mixed-use precinct, Surry Hills Village.
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Lorraine travels the world looking high and low for the best food and travel experiences, sharing them with her loyal following on Not Quite Nigella.
Adina’s Bondi Beach location is right in the middle of a serious foodies feast. You won’t have to leave your little enclave on Hall Street to try some of the best of Sydney’s food! Here are 10 fabulous places to eat and their must eat dishes!
Blanca is Bondi’s hottest new fine dining restaurant. Except it’s fine dining Bondi style without tablecloths, pretension and attitude. The food served is made up of intriguing combinations with a Mediterranean bent. The two chefs are from Finland and Australia and have given the food an international feel. Their most famous dishes are the black buns made with squid ink and filled with the crunchiest soft shell crab. The bonito also rates a high mention not just for its sheer beauty but clever treatment of this fish.
Location: 1 minute’s walk from Adina Bondi Beach. Best accessed from O’Brien Street, Bondi or ground level, The Hub, 75-79 Hall St, Bondi Beach
Bondi’s Best is all about seafood. Which is really fitting when you think of the location of Bondi. Located at The Hub eating and shopping complex go down the stairs and Bondi’s Best is right at the end near O’Brien Street. The sushi is fantastic (try the Snow Roll or Aburi Salmon) but if you’re looking for something more substantial try the Patagonian toothfish. This is a fish often on endangered lists but here they use sustainableGlacier51 Patagonian toothfish fished off the shores of Western Australia. Here it is marinated in miso, served with smoked potato mash, daikon and shiitake mushroom salad, tobiko roe and orange sauce.
Location: 1 minute’s walk from Adina Bondi Beach. Lower ground, The Hub, 75-79 Hall St, Bondi Beach
Diners need no longer make a trek to the inner west to partake of Pasticceria Papa’s famous ricotta cheesecake. Sure you can order a range of biscuits, pastries and meals but the fridge with the numerous cheesecakes says it all. For those unitiated into the Papa cheesecake cult, there’s a layer of pastry on the top and bottom and a creamy, light and lightly citrus scented creamy ricotta filling inside. And if you love it you can buy a whole cheesecake-the small one feeds 6-8 and is $27.
Location: 1 minute’s walk from Adina Bondi Beach. Lower Ground, The Hub, 75-79 Hall St, Bondi Beach
Gelato Messina is one of those brands that people absolutely love. There are queues even in the middle of winter for their gelato. Specials change every week and the hardest thing is choosing what to order. Let me help out: the three most popular flavours (available all year round) are the salted caramel with white chocolate chip, chocolate fondant and salted coconut and mango.
Location: 0 minute’s walk from Adina Bondi Beach. 61 Hall St, Bondi Beach
The location couldn’t be better and a tip: China Diner loves Adina guests! If you are an Adina Bondi Beach guest you can enjoy free take away delivery to the hotel 7 nights a week! Make sure you try their Massaman beef curry, Queensland scallops with Vietnamese shallot dressing, crispy dumpling platteror Alaskan king crab legs with noodles in XO sauce.
Location: 0 minute’s walk from Adina Bondi Beach. 77-79 Hall St, Bondi Beach
A tavola means “At the table” and if you ask any regular what their favourite dish is chances are that it will probably involve their papardelle with ragu, a constant on the menu. This is most often paired with a red cabbage salad, a glass of wine and complimentary downy soft slices of focaccia bread with chilli oil. The papardelle and all of the pasta is just either just before service or during service so that it is fresh, soft and silky.
Tip: the don’t like takeaway as the whole Italian experience is best at the table (hence the name A Tavola) but you can get three dishes to take away: the papardelle, red cabbage salad and spaghetti.
Location: 0 minute’s walk from Adina Bondi Beach. 73-75 Hall St, Bondi Beach
It’s all about Spanish Pintxos, you know those bar friendly snacks that are often served on toothpicks. But the stand out dish at Can Cava is toothpick free. It’s the tuna tartare on potato chip with slender threads of red capsicum on top. I dare you to stop at one!
Location: 2 minute’s walk from Adina Bondi Beach. 101 Hall St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Hooked on Poke
Bondi is a health conscious suburb and healthy food is always popular with the locals-there are after all bikinis to get into come summer time! Hooked on Poke is a new poke bowl bar where you can build your own poke bowl (poke meaning chopped, usually raw fish, a concept from Hawaii) starting with rice or salad, choose your fish (or chicken) and then you can choose your toppings. Can’t decide? Get one of their “HOP favourites”, a list of 5 pre selected bowls. The spicy tuna is a winner.
Location: 4 minute’s walk from Adina Bondi Beach. 149 Glenayr Ave, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Gertrude & Alice Bookshop
Do you need a bit of a refuge from the activity on Bondi Beach? Slip into Gertrude and Alice bookshop, named after Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. You can simply stop in to buy a new or secondhand book or you can stop for a cup of Alice’s Famous Spiced Chai, a delightful and aromatic drink paired with one of their spelt scones served warm with butter and jam. And just marvel at how fast times flies with a book and afternoon tea!
Location: 1 minute’s walk from Adina Bondi Beach. 46 Hall St, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Bill Granger‘s cafe has become one of those must try Sydney experiences. And it isn’t just for tourists as locals queue to get into the Bondi cafe. The menu has a range of brunch goodies but the two classics are the ricotta hot cakes and the big breakfast with his famous creamy scrambled eggs. It’s simple fare that you could easily make at home (which is probably why his cookbooks sell like… well, ricotta hot cakes!) but it is done well with a friendly atmosphere and service.