Recently Google updated their satellite images for some large parts of Auckland – generally the urban area greater than about 10km from the city centre. Based on some of the detail in the images my guess is they’re from about May this year.

One thing that struck me about them was it became quite visible where the city was growing on its fringes due to lots of golden brown areas from where top soil had been removed to enable developments to occur. These are just some high level images but if you zoom in you can often see infrastructure like road networks under construction and in some cases houses being built too.

North

Developments at Orewa, Millwater, on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and at Long Bay can clearly be seen

google-maps-greenfield-development-north-highlighted

West

The West has developments at Huapai, Riverhead, Whenuapai, Hobsonville, Westgate, Massey and Swanson visible

google-maps-greenfield-development-west-highlighted

South/East

The most obvious thing from the South/East are the developments around Ormiston.

google-maps-greenfield-development-south-highlighted

Share this

32 comments

  1. I fancy living up near Orewa. Small village near the beach, 30mins into the CBD to work.

    So the Busway extension is a must. I don’t need it to be LRT anytime soon.

  2. There is a lot of Auckland more than 10 km from the center and lots of developing occurring in these areas. There are a few developments occurring out South in Weymouth (not sure what the development is called), wattle Downs, Takanini, Karaka, etc. Last time I looked houses were still marching out from the Gardens towards Mill Road. I know Fletchers is developing out at Breachlands and there is lots of development around Puke as well. Out South and South East there is more than just Ormiston.

  3. No Reliable, Frequent Public Transport means the new occupants of these new houses will end up using cars.
    Auckland needs to build new houses alongside multiple transport mode, not just road. Simple. Don’t need a scientist to tell you this, why cant anyone in the Auckland Planning get their head around this?

    1. Millwater-style street networks are not going to be awesome in the future. Seriously, no hope of running a decent bus service through there. We really have to get better at street plans for new subdivisions.

      1. Grids and alleyways need to be mandatory. None of this loopy, curvy crap filled with dead-ends and no foot access except by walking the full distance around the road. The loathing of pedestrians and buses has been allowed to perpetuate for far too long.

    2. And why aren’t Huapai/Kumeu and Waitakere back on the radar for scheduled rail services? Track is already in place as are basic station platforms. The planned population increase suggests to me that it is a no brainer.

      Unless of course all those people are expected to crowd onto the newly upgraded NW motorway.

      1. Yeah, but rail along the current alignment would take forever from Kumeu into the city (and isn’t without cost). A North-western busway would be quicker and more direct. After going to the TFUG workshop, I like the way AT/NZTA are thinking – North-western busway to start with and future proofed for LRT. Feeder buses connecting to transport interchanges at Westgate, Lincoln Road and Te Atatu. Following an IBC this year, I expect it to get funding pretty quickly…

        1. I agree with you regarding the busway but it will take time to build and, like rail, isn’t without cost.

          My point really is that the railway infrastructure exists right now so why don’t the transport authorities just use it?

        2. “Yeah, but rail along the current alignment would take forever from Kumeu into the city”

          Nope, the extra 12-17 minutes (depending upon whether battery trains or a diesel transfer is used) added beyond Swanson gets more than cancelled out by the 25 minutes less that the CRL will save to the central city. So quick, the preferred mode (people prefer trains over buses), and better connectivity to the growing metropolitan centres of Henderson and New Lynn, for which the busway will be miles out of the way. Very cheap to implement too, and the trains are available right now (there are five ADL’s spare, but only two would be needed).

          There’s widespread political support for it, so it will happen eventually.

    3. But that is exactly what the Council planners have been saying and they write reports on it ad nauseam. The problem they have is that the people with money to buy a house like having some space even if it means being further out. Some even prefer to being further out than close in. The people who bang on about wanting more flats next to rail stations typically dont have the cash to buy one. This whole intensify at nodes thing has been around for ages. But the reality is the market builds what the punters with money want.

      1. “The problem they have is that the people with money to buy a house like having some space even if it means being further out. Some even prefer to being further out than close in. The people who bang on about wanting more flats next to rail stations typically dont have the cash to buy one. This whole intensify at nodes thing has been around for ages. But the reality is the market builds what the punters with money want.”

        That’s why the few apartments that are allowed under existing rules sell off the plans, often for $1m+

        1. That isn’t even close to being right. The apartment market caters for small, cheap apartments and large expensive apartments. The demand curve has a big hole in the middle because the people who might but moderate priced ones all buy houses in the suburbs instead. Go on to a real estate site and you will see heaps of apartments for sale at lower prices.

          1. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11388761

            “Buyers paid from about $270,000 for a one-bedroom unit to around $700,000 for three bedrooms but bigger units in the second block, Centro, are selling for around $900,000.”

            “The demand curve has a big hole in the middle”

            $700,000 to $900,000 for a three bed is basically smack in the middle of the market atm. So even though construction is cheaper the prices are clearly inflated by zoning leading to an inadequate supply.

          2. Hmm, experience in the development I live in does not reflect your views. 2brm terrace apartments are selling for crazy dollars due to a supply shortage.

      2. I thought the market builds big houses because the zoning plans only allow a limited (and quite low) amount of dwellings, and if you’re only allowed to deliver fixed amount you’ll build them as big as possible to maximise profit. I’ve heard the same storey about why Toyota created the Lexus brand.

        1. That is exactly what is happening. The numpties and twits limited ‘sprawl’ so now the land gets bid up by wealthy people. The houses that get built are designed to suit them. Twenty years ago before this nonsense we had subdivisions with 3 bedroom 1 bathroom houses. Now all they have achieved is to screw everyone. They thought we would all pour money into flats by railway lines. The best way to address the housing shortage is to get rid of the policies that caused it.

          1. Zoning regs set this up, not any urban boundaries. Until the UP goes through, it is nigh on impossible to build anything but stand alone houses.

          2. No mifwic is right, urban boundaries have driven the market to higher spec houses. Both factors have played a part.

      3. There’s another way to get transit-oriented development, which is to build the rail lines / busways / etc to the greenfield sites from day 1. That means that you can get a good transport and land use outcome from day 1, without having to look for decrepit industrial zones to demolish and rebuild.

        The thing constraining this is that some numpty traffic engineers in the 1950s binned the city’s public transport plan in favour of a roads-only approach. And now we’re trying hard to retrofit a decent rapid transit system within the existing urbanised area as a necessary precondition for extending RTNs to the greenfields.

        Aucklanders aren’t exceptional in their housing preferences, but we have traditionally had an exceptionally backwards approach to transport provision.

        1. Not only that Peter, but the Economic Evaluation methods those same numpties introduced mean it is all but impossible to build Transit in advance of population, to sensibly shape land use, as the criteria are all about current demand, not desired use. This is all around the pretence that there is this objective ‘demand’ out there, that must be meet, and not a shapable interplay between infrastructure and land-use.

        2. Funny. Except of course some politicians binned public transport. We haven’t yet evolved to the higher state where traffic engineers are in charge of anything. As for Patrick’s humour below blaming traffic engineers for the Economic Evaluation Manual, that’s just too funny. They brought that in to stop us doing stuff.

        3. There’s another way to get transit-oriented development, which is to build the rail lines / busways / etc to the greenfield sites from day 1.

          We have done this, we have invested $billions in rail lines/ busways / cycle lanes / pedestrian trails.

          All we need to do now build in places that link directly on to the existing Auckland City network. Unfortunately this one simple step is beyond the understanding of our transport planners.

          Our idiot planners prefer to develop exurbs in the middle of nowhere. New exurbs are to be built miles away for the city and be disconnected from the existing transport systems. We’re getting lots of Millwater style, car-centric development and epic sprawl.

  4. It boggles the mind how the current transport plans are meant to be sufficient for this. We really need a NEX/Albany/Hobsonville Point/NW Mway LRT line ASAP.

      1. The plans that AT do have for these areas are based around park and rides too. Much like the current Silverdale Park and ride in a paddock, km’s from any population.

Leave a Reply