The Herald reports:
Auckland Mayor Len Brown has this morning tabled a $5.5 billion draft plan which he hopes will turn the city into the “most liveable city in the world”.
The 254-page plan, which was launched at the new Auckland Art Gallery by Mr Brown and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide, includes the $2.2 billion central city rail loop, $2 billion of further waterfront development and $1.1 billion for central city development.
Aucklanders will have until October 25 to submit their views to council on four weighty volumes of plans – the draft Auckland Plan – a blueprint to improve the city’s quality of life over the next 20 to 30 years – and the Auckland City Centre Masterplan for 20 years, the Waterfront Masterplan for 30 years and Economic Development Strategy for 10 years.
I’ve not yet had time to read the draft plan. But with Auckland projected to grow by 600,000 people over the next few decades it is vital they start working on how to cope with this population growth. I am of the view the city needs to expand both upwards and outwards.
What I do want to comment on at this stage is the fact that there can now be a coherent plan for Auckland. Under eight different Councils, this was impossible. The new Council doesn’t guarantee that the plan will be a good plan, but it does give Aucklanders the opportunity to develop a good plan for their city.
I’m not generally a big fan of ten or twenty year plans. They remind me too much of the USSR. but when it comes to infrastructure planning and investment, you do need to be looking long-term. The danger is when you try to expand such plans beyond those things which need to be decided on a long-term basis.