Car-dependency is a bad deal

Is it a good idea to have a transport system oriented primarily around the car? Cars are useful for a lot of things, but is it a good idea for most people to use them for most trips? This is a practical question rather than a philosophical one.…
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Exports, prosperity, and cities

What does New Zealand do to pay its way, in the global context? And what could it do differently? These are an important questions because New Zealand is a small, trade-exposed country. We produce some of the things that we need locally, but many other things must be imported, which means that we need to export something in return.…
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The politics of Auckland

Elections last year in other English-speaking countries got me thinking about the urban implications of political geography. The US presidential election and the UK’s Brexit vote both featured large divides in voting patterns between big cities and rural areas and small towns.…
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The costs of tunnelling

Auckland Council and the Government have recently signed an official agreement to jointly fund the City Rail Link (CRL) – a move that both had previously committed to in principle, but not on paper. This is good news for the city, as it gives us certainty about how CRL will progress.…
53 Comments

Repost: Why I’m optimistic New Zealand can solve its housing troubles

This is a repost of an article I wrote last December explaining why I’m optimistic about housing affordability in Auckland – and New Zealand’s ability to solve problems in general. I think my optimism has held up reasonably well. Since then, New Zealand’s conversation on housing affordability and urban planning has matured in some important ways – crystallising in the response to the Independent Hearings Panel’s recommendations on the Auckland Unitary Plan.…
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Is Auckland full?

Can cities fill up? Has Auckland simply become too populated to accommodate any more people, as some have argued? Do we need to put up the “closed” signs? In a word, no. There is plenty of room to accommodate more people within the existing urban footprint, although doing so would require us to do things a bit differently.…
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