Robust discussion on needing more housing
UPDATE: Video now included
Last night Auckland Conversations held a panel on the housing situation in Auckland and what the future of housing might very well be. The consensus was that greater housing topologies were needed and that the Unitary Plan needs to make sure they cater for that diversity.
You can check the page brief on last night’s panel discussion here.
The video is below
In summary it was concluded:
- More housing is needing to be built now rather than later
- Three storey walk up apartments and terraced housing are most economical building form especially when needing to be done en-mass. Apartment towers get expensive and detached housing has costs on its own through sprawl
- Developers will tend for the higher end of the market due to land pricing rather than the median or lower ends
- Sprawling willy-nilly including over the Pukekohe elite soils where our market gardens are is rather daft
The Mixed Housing Urban Zone in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan would be the best zone to cater for getting medium density housing topologies built whether by the private sector or en-mass by Housing New Zealand as part of the 100,000 house build program.
Basically all of the Auckland Isthmus not under a flooding overlay (although I am sure engineering can deal with it) should be zoned Mixed Housing Urban with large swathes of South Auckland within one kilometre of the Southern Line initially then followed up within one kilometre as the Botany Line (bus way or light rail) is rolled out. The one kilometre is based on that people will usually walk up to 800 metres to a station or bus stop, and cycle beyond that. Given the rise of e-bikes the reach of the catchment of a stop or station expands significantly.
This brings me to the point of electric autonomous cars being a silver bullet often touted as “cure” for our transport woes. Umm no just simply NO. Whether it is petrol human driven or electric and driven by a computer a car is a car, the most inefficient form of moving people any distance available due to space a car takes and the fact it is parked 95% of the time. To me autonomous cars are a solution looking for a problem when we already have driverless trains, soon driverless bussesn and already e-bikes continuing to go up in popularity. You will find as cycling infrastructure continues to be rolled out that the e-bike will become the dominate form of the “last-mile” travel between home and a mass transit stop and/or a mass transit stop and work. The City Rail Link and its new stations expand the reach of the heavy rail network within the City Centre while allowing expansion of the network including the Airport Line and eventually the North Shore light rail Line.
So please stop touting the e-car as the solution as it is not. Even if they were available en-mass we would still be down to one car once the Manukau South Link is built as we would be able to access our primary destination by train (skipping the great Southern parking lot Motorway) (so the car left over would be used for freight hauling or inter city trips rather than intra-Auckland trips an autonomous car is touted for best use).
The Unitary Plan recommendations come back to the Council from the Hearings Panel in July with the final decision made by the Governing Body in early September. After that we go to the polls to vote in our new Council and Mayor.
So what form will our housing take? We will see soon enough.