Will Bill and Paula fix Auckland’s transport?

Last week we experienced one of those watershed moments in the tale of Auckland’s transport. The road to the airport became more car park than motorway; as a result dozens of flights were delayed, people missed their flights and had to foot the bill for costly changes. Gridlock at Auckland airport @AKL_Airport #welcometoNZ pic.twitter.com/tmfyLZbM43 — […]

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We need to talk about Bill

We need to talk about Bill English’s repeated accusations that planning is responsible for stratospherically high house prices and inequality, and about the opportunity the Auckland Unitary Plan has to get housing back on the right track. Ever since he wrote the forward to Demographia’s 2013 annual housing affordability survey, our Minister of Finance has […]

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The Old Economy is over, but National hasn’t got the memo

There are many shortcomings a committed climate hawk (of which, I am one) could find with the COP21 Paris agreement. There is no legally binding commitment to reduce climate pollution, for example. But the agreement is nonetheless a landmark event. All the countries of the world have signed up to an agreement to limit global […]

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Transport and social equity: Part 2 Fares

(This is a cross posting from The Daily Blog, originally published Tuesday 29 October.) There is no question, public transport fares in New Zealand – generally speaking – are too high. Especially in Auckland. Our fares are much higher than most comparable cities, which offer better services and have higher patronage. Two factors may be […]

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Transport and social equity: Part 1

This is a cross post from The Daily Blog, where it was originally published Tuesday 22 October. Transport is often the third largest item of expenditure for a household. It is on average between 10-15% of the household budget, surpassed only by food and shelter. But it can be higher for low- and middle-income households. […]

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Better transport planning needed in Christchurch

This week in Christchurch I attended a breakfast lecture by visiting planning consultant Todd Litman from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, British Colombia.  He was advocating the benefits of “multi-modalism” transport planning – which basically means modern transport planning that spreads the focus over several forms of transport options – cars, public transport, cycleways, and […]

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Buses can be sexy

Leave it to the Danes to make the best public transport ad I have seen so far. [yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75F3CSZcCFs&feature=player_embedded’]   The ad essentially uses the same techniques ubiquitously applied to sell cars, and applies them to the bus. Given that car ads seem to be about one out of every three or four shown on […]

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On housing affordability and transport: it’s the parking, stupid.

There are two parallel debates going in Auckland that really need to be combined. On the one hand, we have a housing affordability crisis. The solution, we are told, in the very disappointing  Productivity Commission draft report, is to free up more land for development on the fringes of the urban area. This will presumably bring down […]

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