Development Patterns

Reinventing Local
Planning for 7 Generations


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:

  • eliminate the need for day-to-day driving and
  • use 21st century technology where utilities are on-site, self-contained and paid for by the development and
  • lower the cost of housing and the cost of living

How do you eliminate the need for day-to-day driving?

  • Build a market town with a fibre-optic economic base focusing on attracting head-of-household jobs… 20% selling local-to-global and 80% local-to-local
  • All schools, shops, services and leisure activities are within the town, just like the historic towns of old Europe that are car-free
  • No outbound commuters, no outbound shoppers or students; just delivery trucks, shuttles and visitors

How do you avoid new pipelines?

  • Implement advanced integrated water management systems so a town of 10,000 on 200 ha. can operate on 20 cm of rainfall per year
  • Build a 4-hectare solar array with off-grid vanadium battery to provide 24/7 town-wide power and thermal heat

How do you lower the cost of housing?

  • Make UDA law. Establish a Market Town project. As a condition of UDA, require that no capital gain is charged on the raw land cost
  • Manufacture 99% of the buildings in an on-site, temporary factory - standard assembly, not requiring unavailable LBC's
  • CodeMark 99% of the buildings (attached townhouses) to reduce the cost and delays of building consents
  • Engage the settlers, the future citizens, in the design process to spread and reduce economic risk

How do you lower the cost of living?

  • Eliminate the need for transport - cars or public transport (healthier too) - cuts cost of living by about 15-20%
  • Lower the cost of housing - aim for half the current median price and set aside 25% as permanently affordable
  • Lower the cost of water and energy by harvesting and storing locally - rain and sun is free
  • Lower the cost of services and consumer goods with coops and group purchasing and
  • Create a socially & culturally enriched environment that is more engaging than artificial and costly entertainment

What is the role of Central Government in helping to make this happen?

  • The power of government is the power of permission. Pass the UDA.
  • Do not appoint the usual insiders to the UDA board; select practical visionaries not prone to silo thinking
  • Engage in a PPP with the Market Town team who provides the capital, management, product and sales
  • Engage overseas embassies/consulates to invite expatriate Kiwis to bring their businesses home
  • Consider a proactive migration policy that headhunts the world to bring the best talent to NZ with visa
  • Consider empowering the Superannuation Fund to invest in mortgage-backed securities for townhouse buyers


Minister of Housing & Urban Development / Transport

Car vs Foot

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:

  • Congestion: When homes are separated from work, schools, shops and services, taxpayers and ratepayers carry the can to pay for new roads while they suffer congestion and pollution
  • Deficit: Transport-based design contributes to the national deficit; NZ's top imports are cars and petrol
  • Alienation: Bedroom communities separate people socially - children, adults and elders - and they result in social dysfunction, poorer health and obesity

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.


Minister for Children, Seniors and Education



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:

  • Build a town with a car-free urban core, so children can experience a safe, free-range childhood in constant contact with adults.
  • Make the car-free streets safe so parents feel comfortable letting their kids play outdoors without supervision
  • Build childcare and primary school classrooms on the central village plazas so children learn amid adult role models
  • Provide lunch in the village-funded cafe on the village plaza - so that children eat where working adults and elders eat
  • Build a multi-college high school (academic, vocational, arts & hi-tech) facing the town centre plaza for in-town learning
  • Encourage local businesses to provide internships, apprenticeships & after-school jobs coordinated with the schools
  • On graduation, provide for first-time youth housing that is permanently affordable to ensure entry to home ownership


Elder Montage

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:

  • A car-free urban core means losing their license to drive is a non-event. The town is designed for walking, canes, wheel chairs and mobility scooters
  • Near the village plazas, purpose-built ground-floor elder housing enables elders to remain independent longer
  • Settled work facilities are provided so elders can work less, but continue being engaged
  • On village plazas, design specific places for elders to sit, to gather, to connect with others, especially the young
  • Institute a town-wide self-insurance plan that pays for 6-10 bed nursing care facilities on each village plaza
  • The nursing facilities are in the centre of village life, with wheelchair access to the cafe so elders remain a vital part of their community



Our Jobs

No Admittance

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.


Our Economy

Roulette Capitalism

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.


Our Health

hospital Vs SlowFood

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.




Our Environment

Toxic vs green

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.




It's a simple question:


How do we want to live?


The photo below offers a choice.

We can live as commuters & consumers.

Or we can enjoy a good life lived locally.



To do this we need a language of what works.

A Pattern Language

We need examples to visit; those

wonderful places people love.


We then need to understand what has changed to make it possible  


Global Submarine Internet



The Internet and its converging technologies change everything,

including how we design communities.




First the net was email

then social networking & ecommerce.

Next is the internet of things, 3D printing.

These technologies make global markets local.

Facebook vs face-to-face

But as humans, we still need face-to-face.

Social networks are not enough,

we need still need real society.


To get there requires a new development pattern based on a very old one:


Historic Market Town


It is called the 21st C. Market Town where

its economy is based on fibre-optic broadband

not the ancient economy of surrounding farms


 And it is about restoring balance to life

Work Life Balance





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.



The purpose of the self-supporting local economy to enable people to enjoy a good life...

a good life


A good life is understood as the social pursuits of



Artistic, Intellectual & Spiritual Growth


 For each of these social pursuits, capital investment is made in infrastructure,

Infrastructure are the places that help make those things happen.





On every plaza, the village cafe
Make public dining part of daily life  
Ensure it is affordable for all.


Formal Citizenship
Citizenship can be formal
Citizenship is about taking care  
Citizenship needs venues where people connect


Build Artist Guild Halls to support the arts
Build Colleges, Research & Think Tanks  
Provide for rites of passage & formal religion



A Social Enterprise is a triple-bottom line business.

It makes profits and pays taxes, but it takes a broader

view of its work to ensure people and planet are also served.