The Political Economy of Car Dependence

Leading Image: Sacrificing pedestrian environments and green infrastructure to sell (electric) cars. Why do both our major parties plan to spend billions of dollars on new roads and sprawl development of farmland? Our government is catching up on the backlog of rural road safety issues, is slowly improving rail and public transport, is funding “three waters” infrastructure maintenance and upgrades to assist brownfields housing developments and has introduced internationally-renowned planning changes to enable regeneration of our cities.…
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From newsflash to carwash: climate coverage in the media

Last weekend’s Mediawatch story by Hayden Donnell – it’s really good, please do make time to read it – zoomed in on a particular paradox of our media at the moment. Which is: while climate change is the overriding story, anything that makes the tiniest progress towards addressing it – like, say, swapping a handful of parking spaces for bus or bike lanes –  is still presented as “controversial”.…
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Conserving Aggregate

Road building delayed because governments ‘fail to plan for quarries’ This was the title of a Stuff article last month by Wayne Scott, the chief executive officer of the Aggregate & Quarry Association (AQA). He said: politicians of all persuasions have paid only lip service to ensuring the rock, stone and sand which form the foundation for all infrastructure can actually be provided… Transmission Gully’s delays and cost blowouts are the latest example.…
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The RLTP’s core flaw: “holding VKT steady”

Submissions are due on the draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) this Sunday (2nd May). I outlined what is needed back in February: A Climate-Ready RLTP – No Litigation Required. The sooner we fix this city’s transport system so that it’s quiet, sustainable and safe so our kids get their freedom to walk, scooter and cycle, the sooner we start to reap the benefits of more socially connected communities and more healthy, active people.…
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Taking the sprawl out of our transport plans

The two most important documents that set the transport programme for Auckland are being updated or written at present: The Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) and the Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). Strong leadership of change will be required if they are to reflect the Zero Carbon Act and the Auckland Climate Plan, and support Labour’s work on children’s health, equity, wellbeing and poverty.…
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