A lot of people love it though. I'm with you, I don't like the absence of a garden to play with but we're currently experiencing a growth rate of 100,000 people or so a year (a full MCG every year) in Melbourne and many of them are from parts of the world where apartment living is the norm and they prefer it when they get here.
In fact some people are prepared to pay big money to live in a filing cabinet. I was speaking to someone in the know recently who told me of a large luxury development in Kew where the average price is $2 million. That sort of concept would have been unheard of 20 or 30 years ago - paying those kind of sums for an apartment in the suburbs. However that's the sort of society we live in now isn't it... geographically one of the biggest countries in the world with tonnes of open space and yet our 'new Australians' want to pay millions to live in a filing cabinet in the 'burbs. Weird.
I will come out of the filing cabinet and will admit I live in one and like it.
I know it seems weird, but we value convenience. It's convenience versus space. Sure, I might not have a back yard - I've spent all my life in filing cabinets of various sizes (some were quite generous, really), barring eighteen miserable months in a semi-detached that my parents gave up as a bad job (which was replaced by another fantastic filing cabinet). In Sydney, in Malaysia (barring those 18 months), in Hong Kong - all filing cabinets.
It's about convenience. Sure, I might not be able to play cricket on my own lawn, but I can go downstairs and have a whole set of facilities and services at my disposal. I can't have water play on the grass, but I can go downstairs to a supermarket, some cafes, frequent buses, etc. I value convenience over having a yard.
Also, it's better land use.
Well as we were discussing, we already have a 'home counties' model of commuting here in Victoria, much more so than they do in the (geographically constrained) Sydney; it would make that model even more attractive for a lot of people who want to escape Melbourne's ridiculous prices but need to keep going there for work. Basically it's stretching the urban limits of Melbourne to make easy commuting to the city for work practical but I'm not sure people who live in those cities would be really happy about becoming (more of) a dormitory. Some of them moved to the regions to get away from Melbourne and its people!
Sucks to be them. I suppose if Victorian people want a 'home counties' commuter belt along the Regional Fast Rail lines, then they should get it.
I'll go as far as to suggest that we should encourage high-rises in the city, to cater for people like me who like them - honestly, it's good for sales when one plot of land suddenly becomes a tower, and suddenly a lot more homes can be sold - and will live in them; but that we should also permit the growth of the 'home counties' model.
I mean, London works like that too. They have high rises in the Docklands for people like me, and they have the Home Counties for people like you guys. We all win.
Except that I live in Sydney, and we're stuffed. Sydney needs high-rise housing in inner areas quite badly, because spreading further out is not going to work. Not when interurban trains already take over an hour to get to Gosford.