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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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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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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School Traffic

School traffic – it’s probably not on anyone’s list of favourite things. But it’s a problem worth tackling. If children are safe to make their own way to school, their health and learning would improve, parents would be freed from taxi driver service, and congestion, emissions, noise and fumes would all reduce.…
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Sunday reading 27 August 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. This week: Land taxes. In Newsroom, Zbigniew Dumieński and Nicholas Smith put forward the case for a major shakeup of New Zealand’s tax system. Sounds like it could be a very good idea: Unlike any other products of labour (including houses), land is not produced and, therefore, won’t disappear when we tax it.…
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Sunday reading 12 June 2016

Welcome back to Sunday Reading. Here’s a collection of interesting articles/links I’ve comes across over the last week. Please post your links in the comments section. In most growing, dense cities, housing affordability is becoming as serious economic concern. Conor Sen of WinkBlog calls it the “The biggest business story of the next five years“.…
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Mid-week reading: Burglaries, governance, and managing change

Mid-week reading! One of the more thought-provoking things I read this week was Patrick Lyons’ interview (in Vice) with Geoff Manaugh, who runs the incredibly interesting website BLDGBLOG and who has just written a book on burglary. Manaugh argues that burglary is an essentially architectural crime: A Burglar’s Guide to the City takes a look at our everyday urban environments through the eyes of the criminals aiming to hack them, illuminating the spatially-specific tactics used to break in, escape, and stay hidden in today’s surveillance-heavy metropolises.…
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Sunday reading 3 January 2016

The start of a new year is a good time to read a bit of history. The Economist recently published a fascinating piece on Russia’s rail history: “The gauge of history: A train journey north shows how Russia has evolved—and regressed“: What makes trains weigh so heavily on Russia’s consciousness is the sheer size of the land mass.…
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