Will Aussie ‘Vertical Cruise Ships’ Founder Upon A ‘Generational Catastrophe’

cruise ship in front of high rise buildings
Monarch of the Seas San Diego photo by Rennett Stowe is licensed under CC BY 2.0
A cruise ship in harbour. Turn it on its end and it might fit right in.

A recent pandemic-centred article from Australia paints a lurid vision of a not-so-brave new world in which downtown high-rise tenants and owners retreat to the suburbs where they ‘feel safer.’ Will a new generation of social housing become available in the empty husks of once trendy downtown towers?

In point of fact, the article’s intriguing visions of urban future are contradictory, though delivered with the usual authority of self-assured experts. Read more in The Age: ‘Generational catastrophe’: How COVID-19 could reshape Melbourne

With a concern that low and no income citizens will be caught in potential stampedes to coronavirus safety, where does their future lie? There are certainly examples of lower-rise social housing suitable for a future of ‘safer’ suburban sprawl.1

But all is not lost for the future of urban density via high-rise living and working. Tower structures, much maligned for social housing, have been affectionately embraced worldwide as suitable for middle class and luxury lifestyles. Could such post-pandemic ‘towers of fear’ be rescued? Read more in ARCHITECTUREAU: ‘Vertical cruise ships’? Here’s how we can remake housing towers to be safer and better places to live


  1. For some historic examples, try: Social Housing Typology: What Works. What Doesn’t. A Personal View.