Thursday, June 01, 2006

Newsworthy indeed: Good Sense on bad planning

Sometimes people surprise you, but I was entirely unprepared to be surprised by Richard Worth, MP. He has this comment in the latest weekly missive:

A tale of two cities

There has been a fierce internet debate on urban sprawl versus the determination of the Auckland Regional Council to fix urban limits to growth.

Along comes an interesting speech by Bob Day of the Housing Institute of Australia, comparing Sydney where the medium house price is just over A$500,000 and Houston Texas, where the medium house price is a mere A$140,000.

In affordability terms that is an extraordinary difference and why might it be. Well Houston has no zoning.

Day cites the situation in Australian cities

"We have the ludicrous situation in Australian cities where urban growth boundaries cause land on one side of the boundary - residentially zoned land to sell at $100 a square metre while land outside the boundary zoned agricultural thereby prohibiting residential development, sells for $10 a square metre.

These absurd zoning practices drive land prices through the roof and worst of all, lock low and middle income earners out of the home ownership market."

There are three primary reasons for my astonishment: first that Worth has the common sense to recognise Day's points; second, that he's been following the "internet debate on urban sprawl versus the determination of the Auckland Regional Council to fix urban limits to growth"; and third ... well, have another look at that jpeg of RMA villains I posted yesterday. I put it together a couple of years ago after a certain party leader told me just who needed to be persuaded for real RMA reform to happen from that direction...

So this is promising.

LINKS: News Worthy, #74 - Richard Worth, Scoop
Not PC's Urban Design Archive

TAGS: Urban_Design, Auckland, RMA,
Politics-National

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