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Save Our Sydney Suburbs (NSW) Inc.
News Release September 2004

Picture instead of Punchline

Hi SOS Members

We have had a letter published in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning (13 September). This letter was a response to an essay in the Spectrum portion of Saterday's edition by the architectural writer of the paper, Dr Elizabeth Farrelly.

Elizabeth Farrelly pronounces the time for choice in city living is over ("City of larrikins loops the loop", Herald, September 11-12). She advocates a denser city with an end to suburban living.

Investigation of the benefits she claims shows actuality is otherwise. Cities all over the world demonstrate that high density increases air pollution (because there is more activity within an area). The World Health Organisation calculates that 3 million people die from this pollution every year- 3 times as many as from car accidents.

Energy use escalates in power-hungry high-rises, which depend on lifts and clothes driers. Units increasingly rely on air-conditioning as they mostly can't be shaded by trees or eaves and windows are often kept closed to exclude the noise, odours and excessive neighbour intimacy associated with crowded conditions.

If Sydney were to be similar to the dense cities of Europe, a mere 5 km would be shaved off its 45 km cross-section. One has to ask, is such a tiny gain worth all the high density pain? Considering the land area in Australia, this is a drop in the ocean.

High density advocates seem to promote their policies with impressive illusions. Reality, it seems, is not relevant.

Tony Recsei
Warrawee Sept 12

The last paragraph,which I considered the punchline of the letter, was omitted. However the letter was supplemented with a photograph of a high-rise next to a sign that depicts a person falling off a high structure into the sea. The sign reads "STEEP DROP. Do not walk".

Tony Recsei
Save Our Suburbs (SOS)

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