Local Study: What Sort Of City We Want


There is strong support for councils limiting urban development, promoting the quality of urban centres, and providing better conditions for the walker and the cyclist.

These are some of the findings in a book on sustainable urban form and transport to be released tomorrow night.

‘Sizing Up the City: Urban form and transport in New Zealand’,  published by the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities in Wellington, says New Zealanders want more and better inner-city housing, even if those with kids generally want a bigger house, further out.

And Kiwis don’t want urban expansion to continue unchecked.

Auckland city itself needs some work!

One chapter reports on a survey which found that most people (54%) think that urban limits are necessary so that cities develop more sustainably (15% disagree). By 2 to 1, New Zealanders thought councils (rather than market forces) should have the key role in defining the limits of the city.

The ‘Shape NZ’ survey showed that many young adults and older New Zealanders have a preference for living in the city, while families with children strongly prefer the suburbs.

However, underlying this is a growing preference for mixed use communities where access to work and facilities is easier. The possibility of rising petrol prices is a factor in some people’s choice of where to live.

Jan Logie, the Centre’s Development Manager, says the book’s launch is timely, as the Government is considering changes to urban planning frameworks, including metropolitan limits.

Recently, the Minister for the Environment announced two technical advisory groups, on urban and infrastructure issues, which some people fear will extend Auckland’s city limits to the detriment of public transport.

Five cyclists each with a T-shirt, spelling out the message 5% more cyclists saves $200m - another research finding of the book - are attending the Wellington book launch. The cyclists are: Greens’Kevin Hague MP, Wellington City Councillors Andy Foster and Celia Wade-Brown, a representative of Frocks on Bikes, and Labour’s Annette King.




  1. Cambennett says:

    Very interesting that Jon, thanks for the info. I particular it’s interesting because the current govt is justifying playing with the Auckland MUL because planners are trying to “impose” higher density living on kiwis and they don’t really want it. I think Nick Smith said planners were naive on this point. I guess when facts don’t mesh with you ideology the easiest thing to do is deny them.

  2. curtissd says:

    I think what needs to be looked at here is commuter trains from Hamilton and Helensville serving Auckland with designated green belts (forest) inbetween.


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