Flashback Saturday: Good Density

This post was originally published by Heidi in July 2019. (Credit for above image: Point and Miller) Promoting density is critical to avoid locking in sprawling, inefficient and climate-vulnerable modes of growth, but the kind of density matters. ‘Good density’ means functionally and socially mixed neighbourhoods with access to green spaces, comfortable, affordable, and climate-smart housing for all, and high-quality public transport networks.…
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More Homes vs Light Rail

Last week, the Coalition for More Homes sent a letter that we really shouldn’t have had to write. But first, some backstory and some acronyms. Auckland Council is required to implement Government planning reforms called the NPS-UD and MDRS. The NPS-UD (National Policy Statement on Urban Design 2020).…
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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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Supporting Sprawl in the Northwest and Warkworth

The Council are in the middle of making (government forced) changes to the Unitary Plan which will enable a lot more housing in existing urban areas. At the same time, Supporting Growth – the combined work of Auckland Transport, Waka Kotahi and various consultants, are charging ahead with plans to spend billions to support growth subsidise urban sprawl.…
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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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Unpicking the method behind Council’s SCA assessments

This is a guest post by Anna Michels. Anna is an Urban Designer at HUE in Tāmaki Makaurau. Auckland Council has released its proposed changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan in response to Central Government directions under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) and incorporating the Medium Density Residential Standard (MDRS) within the Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters Bill that was passed at the end of 2021.…
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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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