So a lot of developers and construction companies in Auckland think we really need to be opening up a lot more land around the fringes of the city for development and that the idea of intensification of housing is a really bad idea because no one wants to live in apartments and everyone wants to have a back yard. really. You would think construction companies would have some idea of what constitutes a workable city.
in a word, <sigh>. Anyway, this wee report commissioned by the Auckland Council had a section in it figuring out how much land we'd need over the next 30 years. A few quick calculations involving projected population growth and the houses per hectare using low intensity housing, nice grassy sections, space for the dog and the children to run around in twee wonderland - brings us to about 20,000 ha. Which, if their characterization is correct would involve us taking an area two thirds of the current size of Auckland and adding it Auckland. Which is just absurd. They also give us the numbers on what would happen if the new developments were more intense, not quite so much land is used, though it's still a lot.
Not that anyone will be surprised but I really do think this a perfect illustrator of the self interest that is driving the lobbying against tightly controlled city limits. If we did let the developers loose it wouldn't lead to a more liveable city, it would lead to a sparse city with rolling swathes of suburbia and more cars trying to drive into the city. I don't see anything other than intensification both in housing and in commerce around alternate town centres (Henderson, Avondale, Manukau etc) is going to work. It is, I believe what the town planners are currently proposing and I sincerely hope they continue to push those plans.