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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No, Boomers, it’s not like it was back in the day

Last week BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander was in the paper with some stern words for young people trying to find somewhere to live in a city that doesn’t have enough housing to go around. As reported by Susan Edmunds: Think your parents got an unfairly great deal when they bought their house for $40,000 – or thereabouts – 30 or 40 years ago?…
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Don’t buy the depreciating asset

The other week Australian planning expert Greg Vann came to Auckland to talk about his experience developing the South-East Queensland urban growth strategy, ShapingSEQ. A lot of what he had to say was transferrable to Auckland. While Queensland faces different environmental challenges that often result in different decisions about built form, Brisbane and Auckland are both mid-sized New World cities experiencing rapid growth.…
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What do garage bands and tech startups have in common?

Russell Brown’s Public Address article on the impending closure and redevelopment of the King’s Arms music venue got me thinking. Russell highlighted the importance of certain types of physical spaces for a music scene’s ongoing vitality: What the King’s Arms and the Powerstation have in common is that they are reasonably large rectangular boxes, which makes them ideal rock ‘n’ roll venues.…
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Zoning reform: Why have house prices gone up in Auckland?

This is an addition to an ongoing series of posts on the politics and economics of urban planning reform. In an earlier post, I took a look at the costs, benefits, and distributional impacts of urban development. Basically, enabling more flexible / responsive urban growth is a good idea for society – but many of the gains accrue to new entrants to the housing market.…
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