How Cities Foster Innovation

We talk quite a bit on this blog about the importance and value of agglomeration, which is the additional level of productivity which comes from locating activities close to each other. Agglomeration is why Auckland growing will be good for all New Zealanders, and at a smaller scale why central parts of Auckland growing will be good for all of Auckland.…
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Almost the world’s most liveable city

The 2012 Mercer Quality of Living Ranking survey has Auckland as the world’s third most liveable city – retaining the same ranking as 2011. The survey is designed to assist employers in the placement of expatriate staff and how much they should receive in living allowances, so the results tend to indicate quality of living if you’re really well off, however they give a useful guide.…
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Sideswipe Covers Travel Time Savings

In recent days the Herald “Sideswipe” column has helpfully illustrated some of the core issues around urban sprawl and using travel time savings as a measure of the worth of a transport project. It started with this on Monday:  Good life in the country costs less OK, so you move out to, say, Whangaparaoa from the North Shore to get a more affordable mortgage.…
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Measuring ‘transport benefit’ better

In transport planning there’s a lot of talk about ‘cost-benefit analyses’, leading to a “BCR” (benefit cost ratio) for a particular project. Projects with a BCR of greater than 1.0 deliver more benefits than the money expended upon them (and any disbenefits the project generates) and are therefore worth considering spending money upon.…
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Outlining why Puhoi-Wellsford is a stupid project

It was good to read in yesterday’s NZ Herald that the Labour Party has committed to cancelling the Puhoi-Wellsford “holiday highway” if they’re elected at the end of the year. While the polls indicate that the chances of Labour actually being elected are reasonably remote, if we assume that they retain this policy into the future, the long timeframes for actually planning, consenting and eventually constructing Puhoi-Wellsford should mean that the project never goes ahead in its current form, as eventually Labour will become the government again.…
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The UK approach to Wider Economic Benefits

When the CBD Rail Tunnel business case was released late last year the Minister of Transport was skeptical about many of its details – and in particular its approach to various forms of ‘wider economic benefits’ (WEBs). He was reported as calling many of the benefits outlined in the business case “WEBs on steroids”.…
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Next steps for the CBD rail tunnel

The agenda for Auckland Transport’s board meeting tomorrow has been posted online (both the boring open agenda and the rather more interesting confidential agenda). In the closed agenda, along with various items that seem relatively normal, will be special consideration of the following: One imagines that the EMU Procurement item is responding to KiwiRail’s short-listing down to two of the preferred suppliers that was announced a few days back.…
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