Progressive pet-friendly developments


  • Encourages responsible pet ownership through community discussion and self regulation
  • Brings residents together through pet related activities and communal spaces
  • Addresses and delivers to the real accommodation demand of Australian pet owners
  • Potentially increases the value of apartments



  • Seek to integrate pets into your community and discuss residential development opportunities with health policy analysts, urban planners, Animal Management Officers and open space/recreation professional.

The wave of high and medium housing development in Australian cities over recent years has been remarkable. What was once an unpalatable policy of the government is now a development reality with the effects of higher densities being visible across Australia. 1 Successful developments utilise practical, clever and attractive design solutions to cater to both pet and non pet owners.


With more than 2,600 people on 11.7 hectares, a new residential community created by Vivas Lend Lease at Pyrmont Point has become one of Australia’s largest pet friendly, waterfront developments.


Almost 200 dogs live at the development, which hosts plenty of open parkland and special doggy-do bins. Residents have even formed a group called the ‘Pyrmont Pooch Party’, which meets regularly to hold parties for their pets and owners in one of its harbour front parklands. Some people even move to the Pyrmont Peninsular development and in a short time find themselves enjoying the lifestyle so much they become owner of their first dog.


“The great cities of the world have pet-friendly apartments, and we have followed their example.”
Des Surleff, Vivas Lend Lease, Pyrmont


The pet-friendly approach has been a great success, and is fast becoming a model for other residential developments. The residential community has been taking shape for the past 12 years and has regular campaigns devoted to attracting residents with pets, and runs an annual Dog’s Breakfast.


An estimated 1,800 dogs and their owners attend these free events, which are headlined by internationally regarded vets, trainers and animal organisations, pet fashion shows, dog sports, contests, plus many stalls and demonstrations.


“Being pet-friendly certainly adds to the appeal and has helped convince many people to buy here. We also believe our pet-friendly policies and features increase the value of the apartments when it comes time for vendors to sell,” says Des.


The developers have ensured their apartments and open spaces are pet friendly by having:


  • Large safe balconies
  • Good insulation and soundproofing
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows so pets can also enjoy the view


The innovative examples of high and medium density housing now evident in the major capital cities around Australia is testimony to the potential scope for using good design to accommodate pets.1



  1. Jackson V. Companion Animals in the City Melbourne. Petcare Information and Advisory Service, 1998.

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