Competitive Cities: A Decade of Shifting Fortunes

PwC recently released a report called Competitive Cities: A Decade of Shifting Fortunes. This investigated the economic competitiveness of ten New Zealand and Australian cities over the last ten years. They also produced summary documents for each city, including Christchurch. The reports focus on income and living costs, and how to maximise the difference between … Continue reading Competitive Cities: A Decade of Shifting Fortunes

The Future of Tax – What about Transport?

A couple of days ago the Tax Working Group released their report - The Future of Tax. Most of the media coverage has focussed on the capital gains part of it. Don't worry - I have no intention of going into any that here. Also Greater Auckland did a piece on a wee part that … Continue reading The Future of Tax – What about Transport?

Japanese urbanism and its application to the Anglo-World

The political battle for middle class voters in many Anglo-world countries is moving onto the housing front. Many different urbanisation models are being considered. Tokyo in particular is gaining a lot of attention. Sound starts from the 1.15 min mark Liz Truss a UK Conservative junior Minister is a big fan of Tokyo urbanism as … Continue reading Japanese urbanism and its application to the Anglo-World

Socially Optimal Solutions

Congestion is a problem of bad economics, not bad engineering. I've heard this said a few times and I think it's worth repeating. Another way of putting this is that our current economic framework does not result in a "socially optimal solution". Economists define a "socially optimal solution" as "the optimal distribution of resources in … Continue reading Socially Optimal Solutions

What Makes Cities Tick?

A few months back I saw an interesting thread of tweets written by Kent Lundberg, an urban designer who has been a big part of the revival of the Auckland city centre in recent years. I think it's a neat wee summary of what makes city centres tick. I took 3 points out of this: … Continue reading What Makes Cities Tick?

Can I Have a Minute of Your Time?

If you can spare me a minute or two of your time, I'd like to talk about how many dollars that time is worth to you. Deep within the hidden machinations that is transport decision making in New Zealand, there is a tiny little cog that turns a lot of very big levers. It's a … Continue reading Can I Have a Minute of Your Time?

Christchurch is a Car City – Why Fight it?

I read a stuff comment a few weeks ago (I know I know, I really should stay out of there) on an article about public transport improvements that said "People need to just accept that Christchurch is a car-city - why try to fight it?". Then yesterday I was trying to explain to a friend … Continue reading Christchurch is a Car City – Why Fight it?