Research: Pedestrian Connectivity and Economic Productivity in Auckland’s City Centre

For several decades productivity in New Zealand has lagged behind leading OECD countries. A couple weeks back Peter (Connecting cities: it’s a matter of scale) mentioned Phil McCann’s great paper that convincingly explains New Zealand’s productivity problem (“Economic geography, globalisation, and New Zealand’s productivity paradox“).…
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Is Parnell Station Fixable?

A couple of weeks ago Harriet kick-started a pretty big discussion on whether Parnell station is fundamentally flawed in its current location. The post was picked up by The Spinoff and provoked much interest in the comments. In essence, because the station was located up the Parnell valley, its walk-up catchment is far smaller than if the station had been located further down, towards the rail bridge over Parnell Rise.…
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Can value capture help pay for new infrastructure?

When we build new infrastructure that connects places to useful destinations or opens up development opportunities, it lifts the value of properties in the surrounding areas. This is pretty intuitively sensible: Holding all else equal, most people would be willing to pay a bit more for the convenience of having, say, a fast and reliable public transport route nearby.…
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Streetfilms: Nijmegen

A great new video from Streetfilms on Nijmegen in the Netherlands and something particularly relevant for our smaller cities like Hamilton, Tauranga and Dunedin This Streetfilm was a pure joy to make, and it really snuck up on me. Nijmegen, a small Dutch city, was never on my radar.…
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Battery trains to be approved for Pukekohe

On Wednesday, the council’s Finance Committee is being asked to give urgent funding approval to purchase 17 new battery powered trains, or Independently Powered Electric Multiple Units (IPEMUs) as they’re referred to officially. The council paper and the full business case notes that the urgency is because a deposit needs to be made by September this year to ensure delivery of these new trains in 2019 which is when the capacity constraints really start to bite.…
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Sunday reading 23 July 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. Here are a bunch of housing stories starting with one from the Yale professor Robert W Shiller on the supply constraints responsible for the housing crisis in the States. Robert Shiller, “Why Do Cities Become Unaffordable?“, Project Syndicate.…
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