Young peo­ple want to to live where ac­tion is

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JES­SICA MCALLEN

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.’’

Photo: JES­SICA MCALLEN

Con­ve­nient: Kern Man­gan-Walker from Gen­er­a­tion Zero says more hous­ing in cen­tral Auck­land is es­sen­tial for a func­tion­ing city in years to come.

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