Auckland Council is asking for feedback on how Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland should grow over the next 30 years, with public consultation now open until 31 July 2023. [updated from the original feedback date of 4 July. Consultation has now been extended]
The Future Development Strategy is a key planning document that talks about how and where development of new housing and businesses should occur. This has massive consequences for our city – overextending the urban footprint into greenfields will put a massive strain on future budgets to upkeep infrastructure and services and will result in increased car trips and emissions. Focusing growth in our existing urban areas, rather than more growth on the edges, results in improvements to the environment, the economy, and people’s wellbeing.
Why should I submit for a vibrant city and to stop sprawl?
Stopping sprawl is key to reduce emissions, cutting council costs without reducing services, and creating a walkable, vibrant Auckland. Developers who want to build into greenfields are opposing the strategy. We think it is important to submit in support and give feedback on how the strategy can be improved so Aucklanders can enjoy better infrastructure and more affordable housing in the right places more quickly.
Critically a city that limits sprawl is also climate-friendly. Future development into Greenfields results in less connection to existing networks such as the public transport network which leads to limited ways to get around – if a home in a future development can only be accessed by a long drive from work places, study and shops its residents will be locked into a carbon-heavy lifestyle.
We support the updated strategy so that how the city grows and develops improves the environment, avoid hazards and helps address the impacts of climate change.
The Future Development Strategy is structured around several focus areas:
- The challenges we face – such as the degradation of the environment
- Strengthening our strategic framework – addressing some of the disparities between areas and creating high quality, resilient places, to name a few
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change
- Our spatial response:
- Existing urban areas – how we can make them better, building around nodes
- Future urban areas – response to natural hazards and timing of development
- Rural areas – focus on environment and resilience
- Business areas – pairing housing near workplaces, using business land effectively
The overview document provides a useful summary to guide your thinking and reading of the Strategy.
Question One: Focusing Growth. What do you think of our approach to focus most of Auckland’s growth in existing urban areas?
Tell Us Why? (optional) You may want to speak to ensuring there is enough horticultural land to feed New Zealanders; the need to reduce emissions; the opportunities that come with greater density such as making it easier to provide quality public transport to everyone between homes and places to work and play.
Also providing infrastructure for greenfields development is expensive; a more compact city mitigates that cost and means we don’t have to divert investment in infrastructure from existing areas to provide for unplanned, low -density new development on the edge of the city. We need to use funds wisely.
Question Two: Accessible Local Centres. What do you think of our approach to focus development near local centres?
Tell us why? You may want to speak to providing a mixed use model so that there are more homes close to shops, services and existing public transport which will result in more lively, well-connected local centres. More people living near local centres on existing public transport routes enables better, more frequent services. There are also benefits for local economies: more people having the option to live near local centres supports the local economy, keeps town centres busy and vibrant, and generates more local employment opportunities.
Question Three: Avoiding hazards: What do you think of our approach to avoid further growth in areas which are exposed to significant risk of environmental hazards?
Tell us why? It is imprudent, wasteful and risky to Auckland’s reputation to enable more housing in areas that are likely to be inundated or lost through sea rise or coastal erosion. This may mean restricting development in some at-risk areas including some sites in otherwise resilient suburbs that are on overland flow paths or floodplains and are particularly vulnerable to flooding.
Question Four: Resilient Infrastructure What do you think of our approach to prioritising nature-based infrastructure that responds to the impacts of climate change?
Tell us why ? We need to use nature based solutions because they are cost effective and have myriad other benefits with regard to improving habitat and biodiversity. Nature -based solutions (like parks) can also provide recreational space. Hard infrastructure like sea walls might only be effective for a short time but eventually result in greater hazards than nothing at all.
Question Five: Do you have any other feedback?
We think the Future Development Strategy should include a response to the following issues (add what you wish to your own submission):
- The need to develop a wider scope, more joined -up planning process for future development that fully integrates all the specialist council and CCO teams working to meet practical demands on our places, spaces and infrastructure
- The need for good planning to ensure intensification comes with sufficient green space, public space and social infrastructure
- Provision of public transport covering the whole urban area connecting homes to business and industrial areas as well as places of play, like community centres, beaches and regional parks
- Ensuring the new development north of the new Maungawhau (Mt Eden) station includes a diverse mix of housing, including a substantial proportion of affordable housing to build a healthy community there including key workers for the schools, hospitals and other public institutions in the area.
- Encouraging more mixed zoning to allow for cafes, dairies, and other local businesses to emerge in residential areas
Feedback is due by 31 July. Use the online submission form here