City size

July 18th, 2012 at 2:49 pm by David Farrar

Just been debating affordable housing on Twitter. Greens and supporters are still arguing that the price of housing is awful, but whatever we do we must now allow cities to increase outwards.

One countered by saying that as so many people go to live in Sydney and Melbourne, that proves people don’t want to live in large sprawling cities.

I cheated and resorted to some facts, looking up respective sizes and populations.

It turns out that Auckland is three times the population of Auckland but 21 (yes 21) times the size in terms of area has a population density of 2,900/sq kms and Sydney 2,037 so Sydney is considerably more sprawling and less dense than Auckland. Guess we won’t be hearing again how Sydney (or Melbourne) is a case study for not increasing the urban limit.

Tags:

25 Responses to “City size”

  1. Fost (102 comments) says:

    David, you might want to look at your figures – what your post appears to be saying is Sydney is denser – at nearly 3,000 people per square km – than Auckland with just on 2,000 people per square km. Thus for the number of people (1 million) Sydney would only be about 350 square kms, but at Auckland densities would be 490 square km – 40% larger. So Auckland is 40% less dense than Sydney.

    Completely the opposite of what you are saying.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. SalParadise (54 comments) says:

    I have to agree with Fost on this one.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. davidp (3,557 comments) says:

    The figures do seem to disprove DPF’s point.

    In my experience, once you get out of the CBD and old inner suburbs, houses in Auckland, Melbourne, and Sydney suburbs all look pretty much the same. They’re all about the same density. It’s not like anyone has built a New York or a Prague down under.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Paul Williams (877 comments) says:

    I actually don’t know what David’s point is, however, my experience living and working in Sydney for ten years is that it has far more dense population compared with Auckland’s (I don’t know what area David’s measure included but I’m thinking of the area from the eastern suburbs right out to Parramatta). The LGA of Sydney is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_government_areas_of_New_South_Wales#Sydney

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. RightNow (6,843 comments) says:

    DPF has the figures for Auckland and Sydney round the wrong way, that’s all.
    Auckland has Urban density 2,900/km2, Sydney has Density: 2058/km².

    Melbourne is even less dense at 1567/km²

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Pete George (23,340 comments) says:

    Nitpicking over degrees of urban claustrophobia.

    Dunedin urban density is 460/km2 – but even better, 10 minutes drive from just about anywhere and you’re out of the (urban) city.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. RRM (9,665 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t mind a slightly longer trip home in the evening, if there was a full-sized house on a decent section waiting at the end of the trip…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. dime (9,667 comments) says:

    Yeah Pete, Dunedin is the place to be LMAO

    maybe no one wants to live there? hence the low density?

    Id hate to see Auckland at 2,900/km2. When i lived in sydney it always felt busy. not relaxing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Pete George (23,340 comments) says:

    RRM, from the CBD I have a 10 minute drive home to the edge of town with harbour views one side, and totally rural outlook the other. And a full sized houe.

    But one thing that’s nuts, I have two sections (total 2.5 hectares) and I can’t build on one because it’s zoned productive rural – good for half a dozen woolly landmowers. So subdivisions are done further afield – on fields that were productive.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Dunedin must be great then; but maybe Invercargill would have an even lower density

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. David Farrar (1,872 comments) says:

    I have Auckland and Sydney numbers mixed up – so my argument is correct.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Yep Dunedin regularly in Fodors top 23000 best cities world-wide to live in.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Subsidised housing is a sure way to get people to occupy more space than they otherwise would.

    If the Greens were serious they would advocate an end to subsidised state housing and leave the market entirely to private landlords.

    But no, they argue for subsidised state housing and denser living at the same time.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Pete George (23,340 comments) says:

    PEB – I’m not unhappy how things are (approximately) – I don’t want hordes of crowders coming here, that would stuff the characater I like.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Well Pete

    I reckon you’re safe from the hordes then, the last time I was there two years ago, I was up a light tower in the Kiwirail yard and although I have been colder I just didn’t live to remember where.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. willtruth (245 comments) says:

    Lies, damn lies and statistics. These population density stats depend so much on where you draw the line for the city limits of Sydney and Auckland.

    According to this article two thirds of sydney-siders live at a population density of 8800 per square kilometre.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-news/sydney-city-crams-its-people-in/story-e6freuzi-1226041839336

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. KH (694 comments) says:

    Dunedin is awesome to live in. All the advantages of a small place. Easy easy to live in.
    And a wacking great old serious university. (like – not Waikato)
    Which means it is a international place with all sorts of interesting accomplished people.
    And also this means there is a scene with interesting businesses. (like – not Penrose warehouses)
    High income and low income people both, have more money in their pockets than their peers in Auckland.
    We even like all those 20 year old north islanders discovering themselves in the north end.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    I still wonder if the comparison is like for like, i.e. are you comparing the same area in both cities?
    What are your sources for those numbers?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. eszett (2,374 comments) says:

    I cheated and resorted to some facts,

    and got it wrong as your own correction shows. ;-)

    That’s the problem with twitter debates. The need for a speedy return doesn’t allow you any proper research.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Michael Mckee (1,091 comments) says:

    one of the biggest causes of density is local councils wanting to raise their rates by denying people the opportunity to own affordable land.
    more land released and therefore less cost = cheaper housing.

    but then everyone knows this, we just don’t have the political will to act on it.
    Same as national super.

    what a country of wankers we are.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    The last time I was in Dunedin , I thought it was really clean and tidy..attractive main street etc..Coming from CHCH , I couldn’t help but envy all the old buildings. I have just been in Sydney ; I much prefer it to Auckland regardless of density.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Had a bit of insomnia last night. Wish to God I’d got up and logged on, this would have put me out like a light…..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. somewhatthoughtful (457 comments) says:

    I guess this is why you’re a pollster and not a statistician? As willtruth said, it will very much depend on how you draw the boundaries for the polygons that one is using to calculate the density. Anyone who’s been to Sydney could work out that it is far, far denser than Auckland. There’s barely any intense housing development in auckland anywhere, hell as soon as you hit the burbs almost everyone is living on a section, outside of maybe eden terrace. That is certainly not the case in Sydney. Not to mention the fact that apartment buildings are a major fixture of the city right the way up and down the coast. The only way I can imagine they got those figures is if they included Cambelltown and all the satellite cities, but those places are dumps, miles away from anywhere and stinking hot. My guess would be if you only calculated based on “urban” areas, Sydney would kill us, much like the daily mail article suggested.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    This really was a rubbish post, wasn’t it? Even by Kiwiblog standards.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. decanker (222 comments) says:

    Have you not looked into the problem of stacks of unsold properties in the outer reaches of Melbourne? No one want to live that far from the city, not even the poor, who you’d like to have tucked out of the way.

    If I need to live an hour plus drive from Auckland to afford a slither of land on a decent income, then I just won’t live there, meaning many decent cities outside NZ, with real city infrastructure, have more appeal.

    Your party can’t just keep saying brighter future to make it so.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.