Healthy Spaces & Places Healthy Spaces & Places

Design Principles

Mixed Density

Mixed Density residential, Perth
Mixed density residential, Perth
Source: TPG Town Planning and Urban Design

Mixed density
refers to residential development that contains a mix of housing types such as single dwellings and multi units and a variety of development forms such as size and height.  For new residential developments mixed density is encouraged to provide a range of housing choice, maximize infrastructure and land and support the provision of public transport.  

A mixed density residential development can support:

  • Improvements in public transport usage and the integration of transport services
  • Opportunities for increased private investment and business innovation
  • Improving the overall quality of places and encourage sustainable development
  • Development of high-density housing at strategic locations near transit centres
  • Building communities that offer fair access for all to services and employment opportunities
  • Provision of opportunities for walking and cycling
  • Provision of a range of housing choices

How to Achieve

  • Locate higher residential densities near activity centres and along public transport routes to maximise access and convenience to services 
  • Locate medium density development in areas of high amenity, which may coincide with activity centres or neighbourhood park, as well as in close proximity to public transport routes


  • Provision of mixed density residential development within walking distance of:
    • public areas including open space and a variety of places for social interaction
    • key destinations, such as shops, schools and medical centres.
    • Accessible public transport
  • High quality building design which contributes to the function and attractiveness of an area. 
Rule of thumb
Mixed density developments should be integrated with surrounding development, public transport and with supporting infrastructure including walkways, public areas and cycle paths.


  • Mixed density development that is not well integrated or designed especially with public spaces, key destinations and supporting infrastructure

Click here for more detailed information on design and planning for Mixed Density

Download Full Text
Mixed Density.pdf

Density and Health: maximising the benefits and minimising harm (2012) - Evidence Review Full Report

Case Studies
East Perth, Claisebrook Village, Western Australia

Subi Centro, City of Subiaco, Perth

Related Design Principles
Active Transport


Mixed Land Use


Last updated on 10th February, 2016

Sponsors This project was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.