Sunday reading 21 May 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. I’m writing this on a quite nice Friday evening in Wellington, after spending two days talking to lots of people. The best thing I’ve read this week is an article by Emma Espiner in Newsroom: “Embrace foreign students – we may need them one day“.…
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Is building more homes a sinister plot against the poor?

(Before you start reading, see Betteridge’s law of headlines.) The other day, someone pointed me towards an article on Truth-out.org with an amazing click-bait title: “YIMBYs: The ‘alt-right’ darlings of the real estate industry“. For those who are already confused, “YIMBY”, an acronym for “yes-in-my-backyard”, is how some housing advocates describe themselves to indicate that they would like to see more homes built in their cities to make them more affordable for more people.…
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Two public talks in Wellington

I’m down in Wellington on Friday to give a few talks on urban planning and transport economics. If any of our Wellington-based readers are interested, I’d encourage you to come along and hear what we have to say. And please say hi afterwards!…
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The great Auckland turnaround story

Public transport patronage is falling in North America, and it’s worrying people. As a February 2017 CityLab article shows, almost every city in the United States is experiencing falling public transport patronage. While transport experts aren’t sure exactly why it’s happening, everyone is concerned: New York City’s subway system has posted its first dip in ridership since 2009, according to data from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.…
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Sunday reading 7 May 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. As you read this, I will (hopefully) be waking up in the Waitakeres to get on with the final day of the Hillary Trail. As I’m writing this in a hurry so that I can get to sleep and get up and do the walk, I’m going to just suggest a few articles without too much commentary.…
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Sunday reading 23 April 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. I apologise for the continued hiatus in general blogging – unfortunately it’s likely to continue through at least part of May. (Deadlines and exams…) One of the fundamental questions of the 21st century economy is why the demand for agglomeration and physical presence has strengthened even as telecommunications have become cheaper.…
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Sunday reading 2 April 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. This week, we’re starting to get evidence of what will happen as a result of the Roads of National Significance: induced traffic and congestion stuff-ups. Here’s Damian George (Stuff) reporting on outcomes after the opening of the first sections of the Kapiti Expressway: The $630 million Kapiti expressway has actually doubled the amount of time it takes to commute into Wellington during the morning rush, some motorists say.…
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Sunday reading 19 March 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. This week, I want to highlight a really important article by Joe Cortright (City Observatory): “Going faster doesn’t make you happier; you just drive farther“: We’ve long assumed that one of the goals of our transportation system is to enable us to move as quickly as possible when we travel, so it stands to reason that the people who live in “faster” cities ought to be happier with their transportation systems… The following chart shows happiness with the regional transportation system on the vertical axis, and average speed on the horizontal axis.  …
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