Published 21 March 2006
Christchurch property developer & anti-intensification campaigner Hugh Pavletich has congratulated New South Wales organisation SOS (Save Our Suburbs) for its existence, but reckons the perception of it in business & property circles is that it’s anti-development.
“SOS needs to work urgently to change this public perception, by being clear that it opposes forced urban strangulation which then leads to unnecessary densification.
“As I see it, there needs to be clear direction by all the community & business groups involved, that workable policy mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure that no artificial land scarcities are created around the periphery of our urban areas.
“In essence this would mean that peripheral land pricing (raw urban/true rural) is constantly monitored and in the event that pricing differences occur, more land is released on an annual basis, to ensure these scarcities are dealt with promptly,” he said.
Mr Pavletich’s dialogue with anti-intensification & anti-smart growth groups internationally is part of a continuing campaign in the wake of his & US campaigner Wendell Cox’s second Demographia affordability survey, which highlighted higher housing prices in Australia & New Zealand and ascribed this to containment policies.
The SOS website also carries an address by Australian Housing Industry Association president Bob Day in which Mr Day outlined the anti-smart growth points which, he said, proponents of smart growth continued to fail to answer.
“â€¦..It has also been argued that urban consolidation helps move people out of cars and onto public transport. Not so. International research on urbanisation & transport use by Professor Wendell Cox, principal consultant of Demographia, indicates that urban consolidation leads to longer work journeys, greater road congestion, increased air pollution – the result of lower traffic speed – and is spectacularly unsuccessful in moving people from cars to public transport.
“Public transport simply doesn’t go where people want to go. Neither does it go when the people want to go. Public transport systems, because of the inordinately expensive cost of operation, are designed to facilitate transportation into the cbd. And yet fewer than 15% of people actually work in the city and 90% of all work journeys are taken by car. Not only that, Professor Troy (see below) also points out there is absolutely no evidence that people who live in the city use their cars less than those who live elsewhereâ€¦..
“Patrick Troy, Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University, is author of the book The perils of urban consolidation, in which he squarely challenged the assumptions on which the urban consolidation principles are based. He pointed to flaws in the figures & arguments which have been used over & over again to support what is speciously called smart growth, and he argued that these policies will produce â€˜mean streets’, not â€˜green streets’.”
Websites: Save Our Suburbs NSW
27 March 2005: Waitakere wants 3 MUL expansions in growth plan
27 March 2005: Rodney concerned about adequacy of land for urban uses
15 February 2005: Waitakeres anti-sprawl bill gets green light from ARC
24 February 2003: Auckland land shortages for both business & housing
24 February 2003: Vacant business land capacity falls 26% in 5 years
24 February 2003: Residential land supply falls below minimum threshold
Attribution: Pavletich correspondence, SOS website, story written by Bob Dey for this website.