Dogs aren’t typically a key driver for urban design decisions. After all who wants noisy messy 'fur babies' running around pooping, peeing and barking though our streets and parks??
However after coming across some interesting studies (c/o of a self professed ‘crazy dog guy’) there seems to be some pretty compelling reasons for designers and developers to consider incorporating per friendly features in our urban areas. Key ideas that stuck in my mind were:
Pet ownership has been demonstrated to provide many health and wellbeing benefits as a result of greater physical activity and improved community socialisation (i.e. walking the dog and having ‘Oh what a cute Doggie’ interactions with neighbours). A 1995 UOM study came up with some preliminary estimates that this can decrease health expenditure in the order of 2.5-5% which based on Australian spending of 8% of GDP at the time equated to benefits in the order of $790 to $1.5 billion.
A body corporate ban on dogs in an upmarket apartment complex on the Gold Coast triggered a successful challenge by two residents who compiled evidence from real estate data that a pet friendly property can be worth as much as 10% more vs. pet free equivalent. In the case of this multimillion dollar apartment that pooch can be quite an asset.
Something to think about next time you are cleaning turds off your front verge!