A few weeks ago we saw a report by Studio 4/Jasmax on the Auckland Plan looking at just how much growth can be accommodated within the urban area. This has sparked off quite a bit of debate both here and on a number of other sites. Now a review of that report has been prepared and contained this:
Udale, of Essentia Consulting Group, also questioned the wisdom behind the plan and raised the prospect of just 15 new houses built on each hectare of land, many small-lot suburban housing and townhouses, and showed how the city would need an extra 20,000ha.
But if 25 houses were built on a hectare and terrace-style residences were a big part of the mix, 12,000ha of land was needed. If 100 dwellings were built on each hectare, just 3000ha of extra land would be needed, he calculated.
Yet the Auckland plan proposed that two-thirds of all new housing development would be low-rise in the form of attached dwellings and low-rise apartments of four storeys or less.
So Udale posed the question of where all the extra land would come from and calculated that an area about half to two-thirds the current area of the Auckland isthmus could be needed.
I’m not going to to make this a post about the merits or not of higher densities but just wanted to give an indication as to the just what kind of densities and developments are discussed in here.
First up 15 houses per hectare, I have measured the area including the access roads within the area and the tennis court in the middle. Not including those other things the average property size is just over 500sq m
As you can see below this is your pretty typical new suburban house
Next 25 houses per hectare, both these two boxes combined along with all of the roads and the park included equal 25 houses per hectare. Average property sizes on the houses in the left hand box are over 300sq m while the units in the right hand box vary from about 150sq m up to 250sq m.
The houses in the left hand box are mostly detached single homes which the ones in the right are mostly town houses, here is a sample of what some of these houses look like:
The image on the left is one of houses from from the box on the left while the one on the right are from the right hand box.
Lastly 100 units per hectare. This building is up on Symonds St by Khyber pass, as you can see in this example I have included the wide footpaths, commercial buildings at the front of the apartments and the park beside the building yet it still about 100 units per hectare. Most of the apartments have two bedrooms and are in the 70-80sq m range so are very liveable (I used to live there myself). As a comparison if you just look at the area of the green roof – the apartments and the commercial building only – there are about 200 units per hectare so the amount suggested above could be achieved in just a 2-3 story apartment building.
While these places may not appeal to everyone aesthetically, that is something that could be improved, what is important is to understand just kind of densities are being discussed.
Also bonus points to the first person who names the commercial filmed in one of these streets 🙂