Abolish Zoning?

Much is made about how our cities manage the growth of the housing stock by engaging in the process of “urban planning”, that this is performed by “urban planners”, and that the colourful maps which are the outcome of this process done by these people are “plans”.…
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Protecting Tāmaki Makaurau’s Urban Character

If twenty-thousand buildings across the city were determined to have exactly the same kind of character, few would try to claim that each and every one is “special”.  And yet, this is exactly what Auckland Council planners are doing. The National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) is a document containing international best practices for developing affordable, accessible, and low-carbon cities, which directs the major local authorities to upzone to allow up to 6 story apartments near to important transit and employment centres.…
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Building Local

In their ongoing efforts to tackle the housing crisis in New Zealand and reshape urban development, the government put forward a bipartisan RMA amendment at the end of last year, which most notably introduced the so-called Townhouse Nation standards to allow 3 homes of 3 stories on almost any suburban site.…
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The Great Intensification

The government shocked everyone yesterday as Minister of Housing Megan Woods and Minister for the Environment David Parker held a joint press conference in the beehive theatrette with Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins and Opposition Housing Spokesperson Nicola Willis. The only thing more surprising was what they were actually announcing: New Zealand is abolishing single family zoning.…
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The Housing Donut

Yesterday, the government announced an ambitious new plan, a grabbag of housing policies ranging from okay to highly laudable designed to lower the price of housing. However, this package is a donut: a tasty outer with a great big hole in the center… The Problem For decades, New Zealand has faced two major shifts in the general population: significant growth, and significant aging.…
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