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Strategy needed to manage city’s booming growth

Revised strategy needed to manage city’s booming growth

A major review of Auckland City’s rapid growth reveals that the council must provide for an additional 111,800 people over the next 20 years.

“How Should Auckland Grow?”, a report to today’s meeting of the City Development Committee, outlines options to cope with a population boom within the council’s boundaries of 50,000 more than was estimated in 1996.

The 1996 figures were the basis of assumptions behind the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), a plan agreed to by local authorities making up the Regional Growth Forum.

City Development Committee chairperson Councillor Juliet Yates says the council now has to reconsider its role in planning for a city of 583,000 within its boundaries by 2050. (Population in 2001, 388,800).

“We’re required by law to plan for growth and, with the Auckland Regional Council, we’re obliged under the Resource Management Act to provide for the social, economic and cultural well being of our citizens as well as their health and safety,” she said.

“This means we can’t just allow growth for the sake of growth. We have to ensure it is compatible with local needs and builds a good-looking city that works well.”

She added that the report’s proposed amended strategy differs from the previous strategy because:

it pays attention to the needs of people who live and work here now, as well as future needs it links population growth to economic development it links council’s capital investment in transport and community facilities to places that are planned to cater for growth it bases growth on villages with town centres, where people can walk to shops, public transport, schools and community facilities it allows for stable traditional communities to be retained.

Today’s report concludes that growth in Auckland has to be through developing a more compact city form on the isthmus. The current District Plan has capacity for about 30,000 additional people only. This is likely to be used up by 2005-2008. As a result, the report nominates urban living areas for priority development over the next three years and business development areas focusing on employment and business growth, over the next four years.

Top priority urban development areas (for residential and mixed use) include the CBD, Newmarket, Glen Innes, Panmure, Mt Wellington quarry, Otahuhu, and Avondale.

Top priority business development areas cover the CBD and Tamaki Edge.

Councillor Yates says people in areas capable of catering for growth will be widely consulted before changes are made to the district plan.

The report also nominates a number of town centres identified as “areas of stability” or traditional areas that will not be expected to cater for more growth than is possible now: Parnell, Ponsonby, Mt Eden, Valley/Dominion Road, Kingsland, Greenlane, Greenwoods Corner, Market Road, Waiheke Island.

These areas have either already experienced change or have provision for mixed use development under the existing district plan. They also have significant character, heritage areas and environmental qualities which deserve protection.

“The population of Auckland is expected to grow 68 per cent by 2050,” said Councillor Yates. “To cater for this growth, more compact city living is needed. The alternative to intensification means the loss of jobs, the erosion of the CBD, inflated house prices and continued regional sprawl requiring even greater investment in roads.

“We have to revitalise our town centres, create a habit of quality urban design and build strong communities even when experiencing change.”

The City Development Committee is recommending that the Auckland Regional Council and the Regional Growth Forum be invited to comment on an amended growth strategy before it is submitted to the full city council.

Auckland City’s population growth Natural growth (births over deaths): 63 per cent Migrants: 37 per cent 2011 population: between 453,700 and 484,000 2021: 500,700-562,000

Benefits of compact growth more jobs increased personal wealth stronger economy improved local services

Trends development of service and technology industries over manufacturing services industries created locally, not “across town” a nationwide drift to Auckland Auckland contributes 50 per cent of the region’s GDP

Key issues

cooperation of neighbouring councils to avoid “suburban sprawl” balancing land use needs, business and residential urban design protection of heritage, character and environment

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