Monday, August 29, 2011

The draft Auckland Plan is out.

And as one of my flatmates remarked this evening, isn't it so nice to have a plan that is looking to the next 30 or so years, rather than the next election cycle. Not that this is the actual plan, it's only a draft, but there are glimmers of hope. Some were pointed out by Brian Rudman in the herald today. The fact that the draft has retained the idea that we should be going for a compact city rather than continuing sprawl is a good thing. The idea of bringing down the percentage of low-rise detached accommodation to around 58% (from76) is a good one. It's a nice dream, but it's just not efficient land use for a city of any reasonable size. There was also reporting on planning for intensifying development around some of Auckland's satellite urban centres like New Lynn, Manukau and Albany. Which is a good thing. overseas, the big cities that I've been to tended to have a central city city and several other mini city hubs surrounding the main bit. Which means you're not jamming all your population and commerce into one small area that ends up horribly congested. The wish list was pretty spectacular. Annoyingly I can't find the link for what I thought would be one of the best long term planning options that I read today, which was the second harbour crossing being a tunnel for car traffic with trains running underneath them. Seriously, as much as we need the inner city rail loop and the rail link to the airport, I think a rail link to the shore would be a serious game changer for Auckland. In a good way.
The way the super city was put together was horrific. It's beginning to look like parts of it are actually doing what it was meant to do, be a voice for  Auckland and get us looking beyond the next year or two. It's just not quite the voice that the people who bunged the city together were expecting.
In fact, most of today's local news actually made me feel uncharacteristically chipper about Auckland's future, and not just because Stephen Joyce is hating it, he said with a grin.

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