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Council Seeks Evidence to Support Urban Intensification


Councillor Dick Quax – Howick Ward

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Auckland Council Seeks Evidence to Support Urban Intensification

Councillor Dick Quax describes as unbelievable that the Auckland Council is finally seeking empirical evidence that the compact city being prompted by Mayor Len Brown is better model in terms of providing cost efficient infrastructure than the alternative of peripheral expansion.

“The Council has called for “Requests for Expressions of Interest” for an “Auckland Cost of Growth Study”.

“For the past two and a half years Auckland Mayor Len Brown has been prompting what he terms a “quality compact city” on the basis that it is cheaper to retrofit infrastructure such storm water, waste water and other essential services in brownfields developments than it is in greenfields on the city fringe.”

“Amazingly this work has never carried out,” said Cr Quax.

“I would have expected that before plans are drawn up to change forever the way people in Auckland live, where they live and what kind of development occurs that there was some hard evidence to guide Council. Sadly it appears that this has not happened and is just another failure of the draft Unitary Plan.”

The REOI states: “The Auckland Cost of Growth Study will examine the respective costs of new development at inner and outer urban locations. The study will assess the marginal cost of development of one new dwelling in a particular location compared to another.”

The REOI goes on to list four main categories of study that may be undertaken including infrastructure (construction and operating) costs (roads, sewers, storm water, schools, etc, user costs (travel costs - time and fuel, heating, electricity, gas, telecommunications, etc, public services (waste management, transit services, fire services, etc and externalities.

“It will also look at overseas experience while that might be useful for some consultant looking for a junket at the Auckland ratepayers expense overseas comparisons are likely to be meaningless given a number of differing development and infrastructure scenarios”.

“I suspect that the study will find whatever the mayor and his deputy want it to find but I am surprised that despite all the overblown rhetoric about the economic advantages of the so called compact city no work has actually be done to back it up. Once more Aucklanders have been duped.”


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