Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A non linear relationship.

There's a number of people who have been yelling and screaming incoherently in the local media lately about the draft of the draft unitary plan that the council released for consultation and public feedback.

One of the more asinine objects to planning for an extra million people in Auckland over the the next forty years involved a bunch of people who seemed to think everything is just dandy as it is and that we don't want or need an extra million people. Besides, they said, it'll cost a lot and we don't have sufficient money.

There's several different types of stupidity gathered up in that objection. The only one that I one to draw attention to here is the fact that the relationship between economic growth and population growth is non-linear. The people from the Santa Fe institute that did the study found, roughly speaking, an increase of 130%  in economic productivty when the population increases by 100%. This is not the only place that I've seen research like this, I'm busy though and it's the only link you're getting from me today.

We had a speaker at Nerdnite a couple of months ago, one Shaun Hendy who was trying to get across a similar message - more people in a close proximity allows a greater number of connections per person than in a less densely populated area. Which leads to a lot more business being done. And if that leads to economic prosperity which allows council's and governments to gather a greater absolute amount of tax dollars, in turn allowing more development of public transport and other local amenities, then quite frankly, I'm all for welcoming another million people to my city. .