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Speaker: Generation Zero: Let's Grow Up

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  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Jim Welch,

    It’s what a place is like to live for the average person which is a real test of its ‘livability’.

    Auckland is getting there in some ways, but some of the proposed "solutions" will destroy much of the headway that's been made in recent years. The calls to decentralise and stop focussing on the CBD, for example, would deprive an area that's reviving of the people on which said revival relies.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    The calls to decentralise and stop focussing on the CBD, for example, would deprive an area that's reviving of the people on which said revival relies.

    The way I understand what is proposed is that the goal is not so much decentralisation as increasing density around certain local centres in addition to the CBD. I don't think that means the CBD will be 'deprived' of people, just that there will be other secondary centres, which the city will obviously need when it has a population of over 2 million.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jim Welch,

    The way I understand what is proposed is that the goal is not so much decentralisation as increasing density around certain local centres in addition to the CBD.

    The proposed Unitary Plan includes other strong centres already. Not building the Core Rail Link for instance (because it's seen as 'in the cbd') helps none of them.

    A couple of experts explain some relevant lessons from Seattle's successful planning.

    Yes, we all like our space. But it's well known that both productivity and wages rise with density. A well-designed urban space becomes not just a place to shovel additions to our society (immigrants like us), but a creative, connected and diverse space to trade ideas, make progress, innovate and better society as a whole.

    ...

    Ratepayers get the bill and it'll be far more expensive the further out we build. Sure, rural land is cheaper at the moment, but it's a false promise: extending costly amenities like transport, sewerage, water, power, police, schools and hospitals will cost far more. And think of the opportunity costs; we could be wisely investing our rates in improving existing infrastructure.

    We believe the irony to the current discussion is that the draft Unitary Plan is not nearly aggressive enough in its rural/urban balance; its target is a reduction in the current urban development trend, actually calling for increased sprawl. No sprawling city will ever win the world's liveability title.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19633 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Jim Welch,

    The way I understand what is proposed

    What's proposed is sane. What many opponents are calling for, though, is actual decentralisation; many business centres spread across the city, spread out the employment, etc. The town centres will have small clusters of employment, frequently dedicated to servicing the locality. The opponents want region-focussed businesses to be spread around the region so that the CBD doesn't continue to dominate. "Share the wealth" is how one proponent phrased it.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Right, thought you were talking about the UP, not its opponents. We are in agreement.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Similar to arguments I've read that we should somehow force people and businesses to spread around the nation. Young designers are just gagging to live in Tokoroa, you know. Same with established finance industry managers.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19633 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch, in reply to Sacha,

    A couple of experts explain some relevant lessons from Seattle's successful planning..

    Agree with all that. (Though I'm not a huge fan of Seattle. Very over-rated if you ask me, and still very car-based. Auckland should aim higher than that!)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Nathaniel Wilson, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    I agree (what a turncoat), what Auckland has always lacked is a definite centre,obviously the CBD has always been a centre of sorts, but for long periods of time it wasn't, for example, the first place that came to mind when people felt like a night out. But that's different now, and I think few would disagree that downtown Auckland is ever so slowly becoming quite awesome. If the same happened to New Lynn, Glen Innes etc. (I have my doubts), then that'd be brilliant.

    I'm a supporter of the Unitary Plan. We couldn't afford to live much closer than Green Bay (hence where we are), as while I work on the Shore, my wife works on Stanley street and we juggle little kids at the same time (so the Shore itself was not an option). Having spent some time in Germany and experienced some of the advantages of apartment living (warmth especially), it would have been magnificent if a reasonably priced family-size apartment closer in was a viable alternative to a whole house. However, between an historical aversion to apartments in NZ, coupled with the leaky building stigma associated with newer buildings there was really nothing on offer.

    So, here we are, super content in the weekends and raging/sleepwalking through the week. It's not that life is bad, it's just knowing things could be so much better with a little mutual forethought.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • kiwicmc,

    While I have a fair amount of sympathy for the original post's ideas, I sit here in terrace house in the inner western suburb of Balmain in Sydney - a mighty 190 square metres of what the Australians laughingly call a section. You could call think of it as a very short mullet. Nothing at the front and a small paved courtyard for the party at the back. It's small... very small, and made smaller by the existence of two boys 9 and 13, one who plays the drums... I dream nightly of a quarter acre pavlova paradise.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2008 • 88 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to kiwicmc,

    And you deserve a range of options. Most of Auckland's housing will still be single detached houses even after a flurry of terrace/apartment development over the next few decades.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19633 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to kiwicmc,

    I dream nightly of a quarter acre pavlova paradise.

    Fair enough, but there is and will continue to be a large majority of full sections in residential Auckland. And if you want the full quarter-acre for cheap, I can direct you to some delightful regional centres. Major cities? Gonna be cities.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    And you deserve a range of options. Most of Auckland’s housing will still be single detached houses even after a flurry of terrace/apartment development over the next few decades.

    The absence of any other choice in large parts of the city is a principal part of the problem.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22712 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    Auckland is a beautiful city

    It was about 40 years ago. In the 70's it was a very lively place.

    We dream of a well-connected community linking up where we work, study and play.

    Don't we all, well except the silly"old" farts who did this:

    We’ve turned up to local community meetings (and have been booed

    What can I say! Age sometimes doesn't bestow gentility or wisdom of any kind, just aversion to change, wanting things to stay the way they are and a total lack of any foresight.

    People really did that at community meetings?

    Just Lemmy me at their church and I'll tell 'em There's no god. We'll see some frothing at the mouth then.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1828 posts Report Reply

  • Sudhvir Singh, in reply to andin,

    'People really did that at community meetings?'

    Yep. Some of the booing was captured on camera, halfway through this Campbell Live piece (one of the few balanced pieces on the plan in the mainstream media).
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Is-Aucklands-30-year-plan-heavy-handed/tabid/367/articleID/296215/Default.aspx

    Auckland • Since Apr 2013 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    It's sad that folk don't see the upside of a denser city. I'm pretty sure we'd have better galleries and theatre for example.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I'm somewhat frustrated that the response of some people to the post was "doctors are fine" when that wasn't even what the article was about. All people should be able to demand quality city planning regardless of their profession.

    Also some doctors aren't fine, we have a serious problem attracting doctors to be GPs (which requires further qualifications) and various positions in provincial hospitals are running locum followed by locum followed by... because of the difficulty of attracting doctors.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Well, as one of the commenters who went off on the doctor-salary tangent, I agree that a successful plan for Auckland will make it a better city to live in for all its inhabitants. Obviously. The point I was trying to make is that I think there is a rich/poor divide that is shaping our city and society perhaps more than the young/old gap that Generation Zero tends to highlight. Though I appreciate their perspective and there is clearly overlap and interplay between the issues of socio-economics and generational difference.

    As far as the question of the shortage of doctors, particularly in regional and rural areas, well, that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • Jim Welch, in reply to Sudhvir Singh,

    Some of the booing was captured on camera, halfway through this Campbell Live piece (one of the few balanced pieces on the plan in the mainstream media).

    I must say, it's hard to watch that clip and not conclude that most of the opposition to the plan comes from smug, intolerant, ill-informed morons. These are the people who gave us John Key as our leader. Makes me angry.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 43 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    "We dream of a well-connected community linking up where we work, study and play."

    This was happening, at least in Waitakere City, before the Super City struck. Seems to me this form of centralisation was another means for the neo cons to dissipate community and hobble democracy.

    Since Mar 2010 • 377 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Jim Welch,

    As far as the question of the shortage of doctors, particularly in regional and rural areas, well, that’s a whole ’nother kettle of fish.

    I have a sister-in-l;aw who is a highly qualified rural GP: my brother is her business manager. You're right: that set-up is an whole other kettle of fish - especially given the rates that nurse-practitioners need to be paid at in such circumstances...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Islander,

    And we wont even mention the cost of locums...the practice is a sole practice-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Nathaniel Wilson,

    If the same happened to New Lynn, Glen Innes etc. (I have my doubts), then that’d be brilliant.

    New Lynn is definitely more awesome than it was, but it’s no rival for the city and inner suburbs when thinking of a place for a night out. I frequently go there on a Saturday night to get some takeaways, and there’s no buzz. Quite a few restaurants, but nowhere playing music, no bars, no shows. Avondale town center is the same, with the exception of the old man bar next to the bottlo, filled with people remembering into their beer when the racecourse was a humming center, Kelston, a little further out, goes off a bit more, at least the bike gangs seem determined to have fun. Inwards a bit, Mt Albert has a bit of a vibe, although it’s mostly around the kids in gaming cafes/tea rooms. Pt Chevalier has more going on again, multiple places open late. Grey Lynn has a small central core of bars but not much outside. Kingsland has actual foot traffic, people appear to be wandering around looking for a good time. Ponsonby is open late most nights and toward the city end there’s usually something going on. K-Road is actually vibrant. But by then you are actually in the CBD. I prefer that end of the city to Downtown, not really sure why. Downtown seems to be yuppies, whereas at the K-Rd end there’s actually a feeling that a lot of people live there, that it’s a neighborhood rather than just an expensive entertainment district. There’s people just idly hanging around who aren’t drunk, maybe sitting back and reading a book, or chatting with people who appear to be on a budget but not a timetable. Like you’d get in small town or village.

    Which is strange, that the more densely populated the area, the more like a village it becomes in the mode of existence of the people. I think that’s a testament to just how unnatural our suburban mode of existence really is, what a weird technological offshoot it can seem. If we all have a castle, we all become aristocrats, and only after we’ve got it do we realize what a sad bunch they have always been. The ironic wealth-trap in which one is terrified of losing ground towards poverty, and yet in a perfectly controlled life, we never get to live.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10616 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Then again, I know quite a few people who grew up in a village lifestyle who just couldn't wait to get out. So maybe there's "grass is greener" effect here, and the main issue isn't so much what modes of existence there are so much as the ease of mobility between them, so that people can move toward whatever makes them happier. In Auckland, there's a shortage of decent dense living. It doesn't have to be all dense, just a bit more. As Russell says, it's going to be a long, long time before the vast majority of dwellings here aren't suburban plots.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10616 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    This piece in the Herald on Saturday highlighted just how little real problem there is with true greenfields land inside the MUL at present. The five blocks listed in that article total 167.45 hectares which, at a section size of 350sqm, is over 4700 individual sections not accounting for roads and parks. It's only five sections, too, but is over 40% of the land required for a year's supply of dwellings.

    We don't have a shortage of land, we have a gross oversupply of greedy fucks who are incentivised by an utterly bizarre tax loophole to sit on land for a decade.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    We don’t have a shortage of land, we have a gross oversupply of greedy fucks who are incentivised by an utterly bizarre tax loophole to sit on land for a decade.

    LOL strong words. Or one could say that there’s exactly as many “greedy fucks” as you’d expect for the incentive. Pretty much anyone who has a chunk of money might as well be in land as not. It’s not their fault it’s incentivized. I’m one such greedy fuck – I want my capital going where it’s most valuable, and with property going up so fast it’s crazy not to be in property, even if it’s all going to end in tears in the long run. Every time I look at selling up and using the money for something “more productive” I come back to “but then I’ll have to rent a shithole for the same monthly outgoing, and whatever return on the capital I get elsewhere I’ll have to pay income tax on”.

    In the case of these guys who purchased the Flat Bush land, it’s worth bearing in mind that if they hadn’t bought it, someone else would be holding something worth the same amount, or quite possibly more. Anyone “fuming” about this is mostly fuming that they didn’t get to the money pot first.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10616 posts Report Reply

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