RNZ: Urban Density Panel Discussion

On Sunday there was a good panel discussion on Radio NZ talking about density and the Unitary Plan without the usual scaremongering from the likes of Auckland 2040. It’s well worth a listen if you have a spare 20 minutes. Urban density marks a shift away from a traditional single-storey home on a section, towards multi-storey apartment and townhouse developments.…
10 Comments

The Unitary Plan Roller-Coaster

Since first talked about back in 2013, the Unitary Plan has been like a roller-coaster ride. There’s been the hope and anticipation for a better future for Auckland as the cart climbs a steep hill followed by that brief micro second of confusion before you realise you’re falling as groups opposing housing pipped up and were egged on further by one sided reporting from the Herald.…
103 Comments

Are cities really getting less dense?

I have been pondering a comment in William Fischel’s generally excellent new book on zoning to the effect that: …suburbanization and reduced urban density are worldwide phenomena. All but 16 of the 120 urban areas on every continent grew outward and reduced their overall population densities in the last decade of the previous millennium, even as almost all of them grew in total population.…
5 Comments

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.…
123 Comments

In defense of population growth

Growth: what is it good for? Accommodating a growing population can certainly be challenging. It means having to find more money to invest in transport and water infrastructure to enable new residents to live and travel in the city. As Auckland Council’s recent consultation on the Long Term Plan shows, asking people to pay more is never a very popular proposition – even if they like how the money’s being spent.…
57 Comments

Arguing for sprawl with “strategic misrepresentations”

A number of recent posts have taken a look at some of the “strategic misrepresentations” that people have used to argue for a sprawled-out, roads-focused Auckland. We’ve taken aim at some of the common fallacies, including:Auckland isn’t dense enough for good public transport – in fact, it’s a medium-density city that is misrepresented by Demographia’s flawed statistics A car-based transport system will be cheap – in fact, all of the initial cost estimates were wildly undercooked and the costs to build motorways have never stopped increasing Auckland is too congested to function – in fact, average commute times are a cruisy 25 minutes, well below many overseas cities.…
48 Comments