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Melbourne and the Gold Coast ahead of Sydney in high-rise development

While Sydney may have been through an apartment building boom, three other Australian cities overshadow the capital in terms of high-rise apartment development. 

This is according to the findings of data from the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat compiled by the Urban Taskforce, which specified that the ten tallest buildings in the country can be found in Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. 

The study from the developer lobby group indicated that when the next round of approved towers comes to completion, just one will be in Sydney, Domain reports. 

This will be the 300-metre Aspire Tower in Parramatta - and Urban Taskforce chief executive Chris Johnson emphasised just how important high-rise apartments are for the future development of cities. 

Plans to increase building heights in some pockets from 235 metres to 310 metres were recently unveiled by the City of Sydney - although this largely applies to commercial buildings. 

Another way of creating more housing for Sydney's booming population could be to focus on other kinds of residences, according to Dr Bill Randolph, director of University of NSW City Built Futures.

"[The focus is] usually tower blocks in the city or mcmansions on the fringe. There's a growing debate about the missing middle," Dr Randolph remarked.

"What about the terraces and townhouses? Rezone these areas, do it carefully, appropriately, in a variegated way and slowly densify otherwise low-density areas."

He called for more of a debate over whether or not high rise apartments are the best means of providing housing the city requires, or if an alternative may prove more effective. 

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