Up is now out, and out is now in according to this blog by Phil McDermott on the Breaking Views website. (If you don't yet subscribe to this excellent website please consider doing so now.)
Phil McDermott: Breaking Through and Moving on: Beginnings of a New Plan for Auckland
After years of pushing the compact city fallacy and ignoring the obvious approach to solving Auckland’s particular growth problems, the city and its planners have at last begun to water down their dearly held but doomed compact city plan.
The New Zealand Herald revealed that “the council's planning committee will consider a report to allow for 120,000 new homes at six main locations in the north, north-west and south of the city.” A range of smaller rural settlements has also been identified for further development, spread over 130km from north to south.
While only 30% of the assumed requirement for 400,000 dwellings is targeted for the “mini-cities”, the appetite for new greenfield, peri-urban settlement won’t stop there. After all, there is only so much that can be crammed into the current urban area, especially in central Auckland. without destroying its appeal. Apartments in the suburbs, the latest battlefield for entrenched urban planning, is least popular of all options.
We’re not there yet, but momentum is gathering for moving Auckland into a sustainable future.
Breaking with the past makes sense
The ground has been giving for a while now. The conceit of planning by projection is clear as migration figures deviate wildly from the analysts’ assumptions. The estimates of housing supply underlying the Unitary Plan are demonstrably spurious. The impacts of intensification on air and water quality and nature in the city are now coming to be realised. And the impact on council finances as it aims to retrofit under-capacity infrastructure and pours money into transit threaten the City’s credit rating and the pockets of its citizens.
Planners are naturally drawn to forcing people to conform to their desired options instead of letting the people decide for themselves how and where they want to live. This is especially so when planners are following a political agenda, in this case UN Agenda 21 where the buzz words are sustainability and renewable. To be fair to the planners, they are also influenced by left leaning Labour and Green politicians who conform to the same absurdities. The buzz words are still there but now with a hint of realism.
The disastrous six years of lunatic Len Brown and his sycophants is just one more era of lost opportunities for Auckland. Now the ‘Green’ experiment has failed it’s time to stop the planning rot and head the city in the right direction, that is to say the direction people actually want to go. Families need space to live, bring up children and create their own sense of community.