Monday, March 12, 2018

Auckland, the Great Leap Backwards.

Auckland has a silly problem.  Distance.

For the last 10 years Auckland Council has added distance into Auckland, building remote small cities isolated and apart.  Urban areas now being separated from each other by gaps of 5, 10 or 50 km.  This distance adding mode of development is incongruous with how cities work and causes problems. 

Throughout modern history people moved to cities to live in closer proximity.  It is a fundamental underpinning of modernity that cities can build faster, as they are places where biggest economies of scale exist.

Today in Auckland we have problems, because we are splitting our city apart.  High priced Auckland property mirrors homelessness.  Infrastructure costs have been forecast as crippling.  New taxes and government intervention are being advanced as the only solution. Auckland is the biggest and richest city in NZ, none of this should have happened.

Auckland is failing.

Environmental Failure - by splitting future suburbs apart Auckland Council adds about 3,000,000 kilometres per day of pointless travel. 

Economic Failure - splitting a city into small urban areas degrades the economy of scale a city can create.  Reducing the economy of scale inflates the cost of building, creating homelessness.

Homelessness - the cost of building rises as the cost of land increases, with the Council removing land supply from urban Auckland the cost of land has soared.

Destruction of Farms - the planned exurban developments are very big, their total area consumes about twice the amount of sprawl a normal city could use.

Congestion - urban dwellers use cars less than suburbanites; suburbanites use cars less than exurban residents.  Auckland favours exurban development and blocks suburban development.  Urban development reduces as land costs are inflated.  All things that result in a lot more cars.

Wastage of Infrastructure - in Swanson, Greenhithe, Albany and Ardmore there is existing transportation infrastructure to allow easy suburban growth.  Auckland Council has blocked this development from occurring.

Pointless Infrastructure - Auckland Council has decided that exurbs must expand at Pukekohe, Dairy Flat, Huapai and Warkworth.  Aside from being much further away these areas are all in need of massive infrastructure spends.

Costs - as the distances increase, so does the cost of infrastructure covering those distances.

There is no good reason for this plan to exist.  And there no positives to take as a result.

Auckland has a housing crisis, entirely due to Auckland Council. 


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