Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Soaring population

Auckland's population is expected to reach two million by 2031, according to this article.

A lot of people might see this as a bad thing for the environment of the Auckland region - I don't. At the moment the city suffers from road congestion and inadequate public transport. The latter is largely due to a lack of people wanting to use any given public transport corridor, making our current commuter rail marginally economic at best.

If (and I agree this is a big if) the expansion of the city was properly planned, we could wind up with a more livable city of two million than we have today with one million.

Some things I'd like to see:
  • A "green belt" at the current limit of the city - that is, an area with a total ban on new subdivision and development.
  • Most growth happening on the current footprint - we have to accept that many of the next million to live in Auckland will reside in apartments, not houses on quarter-acre sections.
  • New residential development to be within walking distance of adequate public transport to major commercial centres.
  • Commercial and retail developments to incorporate suitable public transport links.
  • Road traffic to the docks steadily phased out.

We should look to Amsterdam as a model for growth, not Los Angeles.

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