Sunday reading 2 July 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. If the weather forecast is accurate, we should be in for a classic Auckland winter day: overcast, a bit damp, and a bit windy (but not too cold). Good weather to justify doing just about anything, from going for a bush walk to sitting inside with a pot of tea.…
19 Comments

Sunday reading 25 June 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. It’s been a pretty interesting week in New Zealand politics, if you’ve been reading. But that’s not what this is about, so we’re not going to talk about it. Here’s a thought-provoking factoid about technological progress, from humanprogress.org: As the BBC recently pointed out, our prehistoric ancestors needed to gather and chop “wood 10 hours a day for six days… [in order to] produce 1,000 lumen hours of light… That is the equivalent of one modern light bulb shining for just 54 minutes, although what you would actually get is many more hours of dim, flickering light instead.” Even when better alternatives, such as candles, became available, it was still prohibitively expensive to light the house for the common person.…
50 Comments

Sunday reading 4 June 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. It is a black week: The erratic man-child in charge of the US government has announced that the US will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which commits signatories to set and periodically review voluntary targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions.…
31 Comments

Sunday reading 21 May 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. I’m writing this on a quite nice Friday evening in Wellington, after spending two days talking to lots of people. The best thing I’ve read this week is an article by Emma Espiner in Newsroom: “Embrace foreign students – we may need them one day“.…
47 Comments

Sunday reading 23 April 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. I apologise for the continued hiatus in general blogging – unfortunately it’s likely to continue through at least part of May. (Deadlines and exams…) One of the fundamental questions of the 21st century economy is why the demand for agglomeration and physical presence has strengthened even as telecommunications have become cheaper.…
22 Comments

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.…
42 Comments

Sunday reading 19 March 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. This week, I want to highlight a really important article by Joe Cortright (City Observatory): “Going faster doesn’t make you happier; you just drive farther“: We’ve long assumed that one of the goals of our transportation system is to enable us to move as quickly as possible when we travel, so it stands to reason that the people who live in “faster” cities ought to be happier with their transportation systems… The following chart shows happiness with the regional transportation system on the vertical axis, and average speed on the horizontal axis.  …
18 Comments

Sunday reading 5 March 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. As you may have noticed, I haven’t been writing many blog posts lately – I’ve been a bit too busy with work! Normal service should resume shortly. One of the most provocative and interesting articles I read this week was on the astoundingly high costs of infrastructure in the US, and what could be done differently.…
13 Comments

Sunday reading 19 February 2017

Welcome back to Sunday Reading. This week I want to start off with three articles about inclusion. The Project for Public Spaces argues that equity and inclusion lie at “the heart of placemaking”: Placemaking, a collaborative process by which we (residents, architects, activists, community leaders and planners alike) shape our public realm together, is fundamentally about inclusion and shared community ownership.…
5 Comments

Sunday Reading 12 February 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. From the Devonport Ferry. If your commute has tourists taking selfies on it then I’d say it’s probably pretty good: Devonport Ferry ©Patrick Reynolds 2017 Here is a clipping from yesterday’s Herald Commercial Property section. It neatly encapsulates the value of sorting out planning restrictions [Unitary Plan] and making high quality Transit investments [City Rail Link], naturally, given the context, through a property value lens:I wouldn’t get too hung up on the salesman’s boosterism in the second paragraph, as the main point is that the only way for tatty low value (in the broadest sense) parts of the city, like the current low rise commercial city fringe, to attract investment and therefore improvement is through value uplift.…
31 Comments