Market Economics Ltd has finalised the development of an updated spatial economy framework to describe & examine business & residential activity in Auckland.
The company, headed by Doug Fairgray, played a key role in establishing land requirements for urban expansion when Auckland Council was developing its unitary plan.
Senior consultant Rebecca Foy, responsible for developing the company’s models that integrate information about the housing & employment markets, said in a market update: “The updated framework codes all meshblocks according to their primary unitary plan zone type (centres, business areas, special purpose zones, future urban zones, rural zones & residential zones). This tool provides a mechanism to understand spatially how people use the region for residential & business activity.
“The first step to create the framework was to overlay the Auckland unitary plan zoning with meshblocks. This enabled us to classify all meshblocks according to the primary intended activity. Certain activities were given a higher level of significance than others, for example centre zonings were more important than business zonings, which in turn were more important than residential & other activity uses. The cascading priority approach has been adopted to ensure that as much of the business activity that is relevant to assessments of retail activity & impacts, urban form & function, and industrial & commercial land demands can be captured to provide a context for new or adapted land uses.
“This capability allows us to join other spatial information to the framework to understand how many people, households, businesses & employees there are in each location, to compare that activity with other locations within the region, and to look at change over time. We can also calculate standard metrics such as employment & household density and compare them by location & zone type.”
The model can show population & households; businesses & employees by industry; household & employment densities; and retail store types, sales & floorspace estimates.
“Our experience in resource management & policy arenas has shown us that understanding the scale & composition of household & employment activity on the ground is critical to influencing future development. We expect developers & policymakers to be interested in using this tool for a wide range of activities, including understanding competitor centres to place their own performance in the wider context and to understand the potential for retail & other business activity in specific growth areas based upon regional & sub-regional averages.”
Attribution: Company release.