Cen­tral city liv­ing on their wish­list

Young Auck­lan­ders will be those most af­fected in the long term if the pro­pos­als in the draft uni­tary plan go ahead. Re­porter Ka­rina Abadia caught up with mem­bers of youth-led cli­mate change or­gan­i­sa­tion Gen­er­a­tion Zero to find out why they think build­ing

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Ashleigh Ilich loves where she lives be­cause it is close to the train sta­tion and the city.

The univer­sity stu­dent fears that when she moves out of home she will be priced out of the cen­tral sub­urbs.

The ini­tia­tives in Auck­land Coun­cil’s draft uni­tary plan will go a long way to­wards meet­ing the needs of peo­ple at dif­fer­ent stages of their lives, the 22-year-old says.

‘‘It caters for fam­i­lies and older peo­ple who want a back­yard as well as the younger gen­er­a­tion who want to live in an apart­ment-style com­plex.’’

El­lie Craft says: ‘‘The LA sprawl is a fine ex­am­ple of how it doesn’t work to build fur­ther and fur­ther out.

‘‘There is so much more cost in­volved. You’d have to cre­ate more in­fra­struc­ture, ser­vices and roads. It would also fur­ther dis­con­nect our city and cre­ate more con­ges­tion prob­lems.’’

The 22-year-old says the lack of den­sity makes cen­tral liv­ing un­af­ford­able for young peo­ple.

‘‘The over 50s might be able to af­ford to live here but what about my gen­er­a­tion who will have to live on the out­skirts where they don’t even have ad­e­quate pub­lic trans­port?’’

Ju­nior doc­tor Sudhvir Singh says we should be more ag­gres­sive about pro­mot­ing in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion in the cen­tral sub­urbs.

‘‘In places like Port­land and Seat­tle and parts of Melbourne and Syd­ney, on one side of the street there are his­toric houses and shops and on the other there are ap­pro­pri­ate new de­vel­op­ments which com­ple­ment the her­itage quite well.’’

Dr Singh grew

up

in Tor­bay but moved to an apart­ment in Grafton to avoid the traf­fic and be closer to friends, ameni­ties and Auck­land City Hos­pi­tal where he works.

The limited types of ac­com­mo­da­tion in cen­tral ar­eas is one rea­son peo­ple mi­grate, the 26-year-old says.

‘‘A lot of my col­leagues have moved to Melbourne or Syd­ney, not for the money but be­cause they can live in a ter­raced house close to the city and not be de­pen­dent on hav­ing a car.

‘‘It’s that life­style that is re­ally im­por­tant to young pro­fes­sion­als. If we keep go­ing with the failed model of ur­ban sprawl it’s just go­ing to clog up the mo­tor­ways and waste our valu­able time.’’

Dr Singh is of In­dian ori­gin and says many non-Pakeha think liv­ing in high den­sity hous­ing is a ‘‘per­fectly Kiwi thing to do’’.

Masters plan­ning stu­dent Luke Chris­tensen says a com­pact city has great en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits – it is nec­es­sary to pro­tect Auck­land’s ru­ral land and al­low for farm­ing. But where you de­velop is im­por­tant, he says.

‘‘If you in­ten­sify close to trans­port cor­ri­dors you will be able to pro­vide bet­ter links to the city.’’

Mr Chris­tensen sup­ports strict de­sign stan­dards and char­ac­ter over­lays to pre­serve her­itage sub­urbs.

The 25-year-old en­cour­ages more young peo­ple to have their say on the draft plan.

‘‘It can be a com­plex thing to get your head around but I think it would be re­ally pos­i­tive even if peo­ple sub­mit gen­er­ally about what sort of city they’d like to live in,’’ he says.

Sub­mis­sions on the draft uni­tary plan close on May 31.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Ur­ban fo­cus:

Mem­bers of Gen­er­a­tion Zero El­lie Craft, left, and Ashleigh Ilich sup­port the pro­posed in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion of the city.

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