Sophie-May Kerr


Institution/Organisation: University of New South Wales
Position: Research Associate
Biographical Information: Sophie-May Kerr is a Research Associate at the City Futures Research Centre at UNSW. Sophie-May is a Human Geographer, who uses qualitative research methods to explore issues relating to housing and home in apartments. She is an advocate for city design, governance and imaginaries that are inclusive of diversity and informed by the lived material and emotional complexities of residents' everyday lives. Sophie-May completed her PhD at the University of Wollongong in 2020.


Authored/ Co-authored Research

Title: Parenting and neighbouring in the consolidating city: The emotional geographies of sound in apartments

Published: Emotion Space and Society

This paper has been peer reviewed

Funders: Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship and the University of Wollongong Global Challenges Program Scholarship

Author/Co-authors: Sophie-May Kerr, Chris Gibson, Natascha Klocker

Keywords: Children, Design, Disputes/conflict, Liveability, Qualitative research/interviews,

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Rapid urban population growth has prompted a shift towards higher-density dwellings. Yet little is known about the everyday emotional experiences of apartment residents. This paper draws on insights gathered from families, with children, living in apartments in Sydney, Australia. These families’ experiences of high-density living reveal how the materiality of sound and built form interact with cultural norms to shape how apartment spaces are understood and inhabited.

Title: Planning for Lower‐Income Households in Privately Developed High‐Density Neighbourhoods in Sydney, Australia

Published: Easthope, H., Crommelin, L., Kerr, S.M., Troy, L., van den Nouwelant, R. and Davison, G., 2022. Planning for Lower-Income Households in Privately Developed High-Density Neighbourhoods in Sydney, Australia. Urban Planning, 7(4), pp.213-228.

Author/Co-authors: Hazel Easthope, Laura Crommelin, Sophie-May Kerr, Laurence Troy, Ryan van den Nouwelant, Gethin Davison

Keywords: Liveability, Planning, Policy, Qualitative research/interviews,

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In Australia, private high‐density housing is typically marketed as the domain of middle‐ and higher‐income residents. In practice, it accommodates many lower‐income households. This has implications for public infrastructure planning in high‐density neighbourhoods where private property ownership dominates. Examining two case-studies with markedly different day-to-day experiences, this article argues that coordinated and collaborative planning processes are key to ensuring that the needs of lower‐income households are met in privately developed apartment neighbourhoods.