During community consultations conducted in the last week of August 2014, the residents of Pigdon Street were asked a number of questions aimed at understanding the demographics of the area, and more importantly who you are. This investigation is particularly important for the Streets Without Cars agenda, as my eventual urban intervention will be designed with the local community in mind.
The residents were asked a number of questions:
- Age and gender.
- Household members.
- Ownership and how long you’ve been living there.
- Occupation, location of workplace and distance from home.
- Modes of transport used for commuting.
- Bicycle and car ownership.
- Private open space availability and use.
- Current use of the street and nearby public parks.
Gender and age
Household and ownership
Work location and occupation
Commute and distance to workplace
The overall picture
Based on these findings, the following observations can be made about the community:
- The community is a mix of predominantly young professionals, retired couples and students.
- The majority of residents are young professionals in the 21 – 30 age bracket, who represent 56% of the community. Older individuals and retired couples are the second most represented group in the community with 24%.
- The households are a mixture of young and older family units, young professionals living together in a shared house arrangement and young couples. There are only a small number of family households with children.
- Over half the properties (64%) are rented and approximately 63% of the current residents have either recently moved or have lived on Pigdon Street for around 2 years.
- A large proportion of the residents work and study within a 2km to 5km radius from home, with approximately 76% of the residents’ daily commute being to and from the CBD and inner northern suburbs of Melbourne.
- The residents’ preferred method of commuting to and from work is via the short walk to Lygon Street and Royal Parade trams, with 62% of all residents making their daily commute via this route. The second most popular daily commute method is the bicycle, with 19% of locals choosing their bicycle over public transport and the car. Only 14% of all residents use their cars as the preferred method of commuting.
- An interesting characteristic of the community is the limited use of their cars, despite their being an average 1.6 cars per household. According to residents, the car is used only 2 – 3 times a week for short trips to and from the shops, with only a small number of cross town trips being made during the month.
During the community consultation residents were also asked about the amount and type of private open space available in their homes as well as any existing uses of Pigdon Street, its large median strip and the adjacent Princes and Park Street parks.
Private open space and use
Use of Pigdon Street and local parks
Based on these findings, the following observations can be made about the use and availability of private open space:
- Almost all the residents along Pigdon Street have access to a private open space, although more often then not it is relatively small and not well used. Approximately 27% of the residents interviewed had no access to any private open space at all.
- Approximately 30% of households have access to a small backyard referred to by residents as their “concrete pad”, which in 30% of cases is used for storage.
- A very small number of households have access to a front yard as well as a backyard, which are predominantly used for gardening and entertaining family and friends
- Every resident has access to private car parking, accessed through the laneways at the back of their properties. However, only 36% of all households use this space for their cars, opting instead to park on adjacent streets as they prefer to have the additional backyard space.
- The most popular uses for residents’ limited private open space is entertaining and socialising (54%), and reading and studying (20%).
- 25% of the residents interviewed do not use Pigdon Street or the green median strip at all. The other three-quarters of residents predominantly use Pigdon Street for car parking (21%) and ball games in the median strip (21%), with a small number of residents choosing to use the median strip for picnics (12.5%) and reading / studying (12.5%)
- The limited or non-existent private open space seems to be substituted by the Princes and Park Street parks, with 100% of all residents interviewed using the parks at least 5 times a week.
- A vast majority of residents use the park for exercising, socialising with friends and a number of residents take their lunch to the park if they want to eat outside due to the lack of usable private open space in their own homes.
The residents of Pigdon Street seem to be an active bunch, with a vast majority indicating that the short walk to Princes Park is not an issue and having access to one of the city’s great parks compensates for the lack of green private open space.
- Gender and age, this and subsequent images copyright of author.
- Household and ownership.
- Work location and occupation.
- Commute and distance to workplace.
- Overall picture.
- Private open space and use.
- Use of Pigdon Street and local parks.