Why are families with children overlooked in the design of apartments?

Thousands of Australian children make apartments their homes, yet apartments are seldom designed with children in mind. 
This is the view of social enterprise organisation Cities People Love. And with the further observation that one in five households living in apartments in Australia are families with children (much higher in NSW with one in four), we wonder why so few apartments are built with kids in mind?

Family Friendly design considerations for apartment entrances
Image via Cities People Love

In last month’s bulletin we talked about Life in high rise – are they designed for people from all walks of life? This very interesting article takes the discussion as step further, exploring commercial and design blind spots and offering ideas for the types of design consideration that ought to be explored.

Reasons why children are overlooked in the design process (Source: Cities People Love)

  • cultural assumptions that families with children will not want to live in apartments
  • households without children are currently dominant in apartment buildings
  • pressures on developers to sell a proportion of their units off-the-plan, usually to investors who aren’t necessarily interested in child-friendly apartments
  • most families with children in apartments rent, rather than buy their apartments meaning their needs are not being targeted by developers

At Shelter NSW we consider this is a challenge for the private, community and public sector property developers.

As an aside, we hope that topical conversations about expanding Build-to-Rent support a wider consideration of creating well-designed and affordable homes for households of all types.

Many thanks to Tim Williams from Grimshaw for sharing this on LinkedIn: Designing apartment homes for families with children | Cities People Love