Young people want to to live where action is
Young Aucklanders would rather be able to live ‘‘where the action is’’ than have more space in city-fringe suburbs, a youth climate group says.
Generation Zero is backing plans to intensify housing within existing boundaries as proposed in the Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan.
Generation Zero is a group of more than 3000 young New Zealanders dedicated to creating a sustainable future.
Spokesman Kern ManganWalker says more housing in central Auckland is essential for a functioning city in years to come.
He says students, workers and young families find inner city living more attractive than a life in the suburbs.
‘‘There is access to a variety of entertainment, schooling and businesses in the city,’’ he says.
‘‘While living further away may give you a larger house, the cost and time constraints of transport are a problem for young people who want to be where the action is.’’
The Auckland Council Unitary Plan is focusing on solving housing and transport issues by 2040.
The draft plan was released on Friday.
The Auckland Council says it is planning for the city’s population to climb by one million people in the next three decades.
A key issue in the plan is whether to develop more intensive housing within existing city boundaries or let the city expand outward.
The plan suggests a 60-40 per cent split between urban and outer development.
Labour housing and Auckland issues spokesman Phil Twyford says the plan should be more like a 70-30 split.
He says that though both targets are a stretch they are achievable.
Mr Twyford says the biggest challenge the council faces is to provide affordable housing and avoid urban sprawl.
He says this can be done successfully if the council employs the best designers nationally and internationally.
Mr Twyford says the city needs to move away from the negative idea of high rise buildings that stem from poorly designed apartments.
‘‘High rise does not necessarily mean a cramped shoebox apartment, like those in Hobson St.’’
Those opposed to intensification like councillor Dick Quax say the idea has never been embraced by Aucklanders and it will destroy leafy neighbourhoods like Mt Eden, Pakuranga and Avondale.
Mr Mangan-Walker says councillors are faced with the important task of getting these next 10 years right.
‘‘If they don’t, it will be our generation that has to face the repercussions.’’
Convenient: Kern Mangan-Walker from Generation Zero says more housing in central Auckland is essential for a functioning city in years to come.