This web page is a summary briefing paper for central government. Its objective is to secure support from central government for a new development pattern called MarketTowns.
A smarter way to manage growth in NZ
“There is a smarter way to manage growth on the city fringes by properly integrating land use with transport and infrastructure planning… It is also essential to reform the way infrastructure is financed. The cost of new infrastructure must rest with the property owners of new developments to prevent the ratepayer carrying the can for expensive infrastructure investment in places where it’s too expensive to build. Phil Twyford May 18, 2016
The smartest way to manage growth is to:
How do you eliminate the need for day-to-day driving?
How do you avoid new pipelines?
How do you lower the cost of housing?
How do you lower the cost of living?
What is the role of Central Government in helping to make this happen?
Car-based vs human-scaled development patterns
Building houses is not enough. The house is where you sleep, eat and relax, but what you design and where you build them is as important as the number of houses you build.
As Auckland and Queenstown are discovering, building more bedroom communities comes at a cost:
The answer is to move destinations, not people.
Look at how towns were built before cars. All day-to-day destinations were within walking distance. The Crown gave market town charters to those that became economic hubs. Market Towns were human scaled. Those car-free towns that remain in Europe are visitor destinations because they are wonderful places.
The human-scaled market town development pattern was demolished by the Industrial Revolution. Big industry needed large numbers of unskilled factory workers concentrated in gritty, blue-collar cities - people became fodder for factories. Those cities were not wonderful, just profitable for factory owners.
The Industrial Revolution gave way to the Automotive Revolution that spawned suburban sprawl. People became consumers - the buyers of cars, growing the market for petroleum, rubber, chemicals and steel. But that too had its adverse effects. Suburbs are not wonderful, just profitable for developers.
Now, the Technology Revolution means millions of jobs can be done anywhere there is ultra-fast broadband. It's not for everyone, but it is for enough to populate whole towns with 20% local-to-global workers that import money to circulate for the hundreds of local job types that can service the town's citizens. It requires a critical mass of 5,000 to 10,000 population and it requires specific policies to ensure it remains a complete, not elite, community. Such towns go full circle, returning to a wonderful development pattern that people love.
The plans to build are in place. Commitments have been made to provide the building systems, the financing and the expert teams necessary to begin in 2018. What is required is permission from government.
We envision a PPP under UDA with central and local government that identifies the best site for the prototype project. Give us the permission, provide the necessary oversight to ensure we deliver, and then let us get on with the job.
If you want to reform education, understand how children have learned for as long as humans have been on this planet. Children learn by role models. From the moment they are born, children learn by interaction. They observe adults going about their business. They interact with those adults, learning what society expects of them. They mature in their teens and become participating members of society.
We do children a severe disservice when we remove them from society and lock them up in segrgated school campuses isolated from real life. Instead of real role models, and real life to negotiate, we plant them in front of television, or give them a smart phone or tablet to keep them quiet - not appreciating how we are further isolating them from social interaction.
The answer is simple:
NZ's population is aging. We don't have a plan for this demographic change.
The best we do is to segregate our elders in retirement homes, cut off from their community, living in an isolated place patiently waiting to die.
We do this when they stop driving. We do this because we have no place for them.
We do it to our seniors, but we don't want it done to us when we get to that age.
Eldership is how culture is passed from old to young. Elders play an essential role in complete communities. Elders want to remain vital.
The answer is simple:
Today, most working adults must get in their cars or mass transit and leave their community. This is not normal, but it's how we structure our world.
They travel long distances to jobs that separate them from family, friends & the supportive community that relieved the pressures on families.
Local economies thrive by trading with the outside world. If 20% of businesses sell local-to-global, that income is then spent supporting local business.
Millions of businesses can relocate anywhere there is ultra-fast fibre-optic broadband. They can chose where to locate based on quality of life.
It is this new shift in technology that restores the development pattern of the country towns and villages; those wonderful places to enjoy life.
Today we find that small to medium enterprises find it very difficult to secure financing and capital.
The money seems to be locked up in a huge casino, making it much harder for local wealth creation to thrive.
When building a town from scratch, economies of scale enable a portion of cost savings to go into a local fund.
This provides financing, capital and expertise to local business that enables them to create local common wealth.
Today we find an obsessive focus on illness with far less attention to what keeps people healthy and enjoying life.
The best advice your doctor gives you: Eat better, get plenty of exercise, get out of your car, take a walk, be in Nature.
As the planet grows to 9 billion people, food will become an issue. It is prudent to invest in an affordable local food supply.
But it is more than planning for a scarce future. Wonderful food in a convivial atmosphere is part of the enjoyment of a good life.
Today, most of us seem to have cut ourselves off from Nature; we see Nature from the car or in a video.
On the larger scale, it seems as if our global industries and businesses have declared a War on Nature.
This of course is not smart, because humans are a part of Nature. We need Nature to survive. Nature does not need us.
Many of the answers to global environmental threats are local answers.
Build greenfield communities that identify the toxic practices - and then opt out.
The biggest opt-out is to stop driving on a day-to-day basis.
Eliminate the need to drive by building all daily destinations within walking distance.
First attract head-of-household jobs. Engage the buyers at the onset to lower risk and make it work.
Move destinations not people. Home, work, schools, shops, recreation: walk to all. Stop Stupid Driving.
Create a social enterprise that builds, governs, and retains profits to invest in the local economy.
There will be high-rise cities, but even with 9 billion people on the planet, there are other options.