This is the kind of development that Auckland desperately needs more of, dotted around some of our key rail stations. It’s interesting how sophisticated the marketing of transit oriented developments is in Vancouver. Detail is provided about how close the building is to other areas by train even before the focus shifts to the proximity of available retail or even the views over the adjacent river:

More here.

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  1. I’ve just been in Vancouver, as well as Seattle, Portland and Eugene Oregon (implementing BRT along a transport spline). The transit network is really well developed and they take great advantage of high density residential development around the stations. As it happened on this occasion we were driving in the city which was terrible, but on previous occasions I’ve made good use of the Sky Train and bus networks. The times we did get out of the car and sea bus / bike on this trip, the transfers were very convenient. NZ cities have lots to learn from Vancouver’s Sky Train and linkage with other modes, from Portland’s use of light rail / street cars and integration of cycling and from Eugene / Springfield’s interlinking of cycling and BRT in a smaller city context. All good stuff.

  2. I’ve always found it strange how most western cities never really did much of this sort of stuff in the past. The focus always seemed to be that rail lines are for freight and so if you look at most cities you will see that all along the rail corridor its all zoned industrial.

    The exception of course a metro lines like we see here in Vancouver where each station gets treated as a hub for either business or residential and in some cases both. Keeping with Vancouver you will note that their heavy rail lines are even worse than ours in terms of livable development around them with mass amounts of warehouses and car parking.

    1. Well their heavy rail lines don’t operate as part of a transport network, they are commuter line, uni-directional and peak only.

      A lot of the large European cities have TOD that occured organically in the 1800s, I think the distinction should be made as to whether a rail service existed, or whether a rail track existed, as that really seems to be the defining characteristic for the existence of TOD.

      1. Well based on that Vancouver would of had pretty much no PT system until they made the skytrain during the 90’s, if that is the case or not I do not know.

        If you look at Auckland they had a passenger rail service running way back in 1900 which had continued to this day along with various tram lines but TOD appear to be pretty much non-existent right now. The only TOD’s I can think of in Auckland are based around motorways (the CBD being the biggest one) however I wouldn’t really call many of them best practice.

        1. Well all of our legacy town centres are located on transit nodes. Think Panmure, Manurewa, Papakura, Henderson, Avondale, New Lynn. That is transit truly organic small scale TOD. The trouble is that for the last 40 years we haven’t actually had anywhere that is well served by transit because the duration and frequency of service is far too low.

          I would not call any of them best practice either, and agree that all of the recent developments are around motorways, but that is changing, slowly. Look at Merchant Quarter for example.

  3. first can I make a plea for the UK english “orientated” oriented sounds vaguely Asian.

    Remember that the orientation of this development is around transit services and it’s the level of service not the mode that drives the development. Thus a frequent quality bus service can leverage development and don’t try to tell me that rails make for permanence, who is going to shift buses out of Symonds St?

      1. (there must be a web acronym (webonym?) for gentle chuckle of recognition) you’re probably right, what I omitted was that oriented seems to be a somewhat lazy Americanism

        1. Meh, some say lazy, others say parsimonious. I don’t see the need to slavishly stick to britishisms if American or other terms are better. For example I much prefer passenger transit over public transport.

          1. New Zealand was founded by Britain, not America. Our language comes from the same place. To me it always will be Public Transport.

    1. Completely agree regarding level of service. I think you are preaching to the choir with regards to rail vs bus though, almost all the commentators on this blog agree that the quality of corridir, and frequency are far more important than wheel material.

    2. The post never even really discussed bus vs rail but certainly in the NZ context there are really very few corridors that would match the Skytrain system in Canada. The bus network is fragmented and rarely has any sort of priority. That’s the key point the skytrain runs on its own alignment and a congestion free one. Symonds Street also has an awful lot of apartments but the street itself is choked with traffic, most of which spills over into the patchy bus lanes, and the buses are load and are often belching smoke. It has great frequency I agree, but is hardly a pleasant street to live on.
      At the end of the day an electric train at your front door and electric buses are always going to be considered preferable to the current crop of diesel buses in Auckland.

  4. The condominium market in Vancouver is fiercely competitive due to the sheer number of developments, so developers have to put a lot more effort into marketing than they do here in Auckland. I’ve looked at the websites for a few of the developments starting to go up around town, and for the most part they’re pretty sad. The people behind the Orakei Bay Village could probably put together a video similar to this if they were motivated enough.

  5. Kuala Lumpur is at the beginning of a massive investment in PT – 3 new LRT lines (150kms of track)to link with the existing, limited, infrastructure and all developments (commercial and residential) are pushing proximity to stations. Quite a big deal for a city more car-centric than Auckland, such that most people you ask say they will never use the train regardless.

    The renders also make the BRT plans (elevated in some parts) look space age and aesthetically pleasing….

  6. Have a look at Hong Kong Shatin for a great example.

    Huge shopping malls above railway station. Then the buildings links to each other by air conditioned walking bridges. Then a garden on the top of the building platform as well.

    The buildings are Mix-used, it has shopping, food, government, recreational, residential, commence etc.

    It is very convenient for people living there and work there.

    Also it is so scaled that the malls are huge and interconnected, I could easily spend a day inside it.

    The railway connects people to the rest of the city.

    Another example is Osaka Umeda rail station.

    In NZ, the transit frequency is too far apart and not desirable for people to use. Also it doesn’t have much interconnection between station to town center. Take an example of the panmure train station, I have to cross the huge round-about before I can reach the main streets.

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