Currently Auckland has a few regional planning instruments: The Regional Policy Statement (being reviewed now, but not much more than set of sustainable development controls); Draft 1 of the One Plan (this is a disappointing document that amounts to little more than a wishlist of unfunded and unprioritised projects); the Auckland Sustainability Framework (a useful and visionary document - but not a spatial plan) and the Regional Land Transport Strategy (good as far as it goes, but increasingly irrelevant with legislative moves to marginalise its effect).
There's lots of talk about "spatial planning" in Auckland - it trips off the lips easily - a bit like "iconic waterfront building". The words mean different things to different people. That's a comfort, but will not lead to any certainty, or delivery or change.
How about spatial planning Jakarta style:
On November 8, 2009 Jakarta’s Governor Fauzi Bowo closed and locked a gas station located on Jl. Jendral Sudirman to symbolically close down 27 gas stations and convert the areas into green spaces. The Jakarta Parks and Cemetery Agency announced that the 27 gas stations will be closed by the end of the year and the closure of these gas stations will add another 10,505 square meters of green areas in Jakarta (The Jakarta Post, November 11, 2009).This an extract from http://indonesiaurbanstudies.blogspot.com/ prepared by Deden Rukmana Professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Savannah State University. Imagine doing something like that for an Auckland Spatial Plan. The Auckland Council would be competing with Infratil to buy the network of Shell Petrol stations across Auckland - and its depots and other land holdings. Imagine that as an initiative...
The conversion of gas stations into green areas is to meet the target for green areas in Jakarta stipulated in the Jakarta spatial plan 2000-2010 to cover 13.94 percent of Jakarta's total 63,744 hectares by 2010. In 1965, green areas made up more than 35 percent of Jakarta and have been shrinking ever since. Currently, green areas in Jakarta account for only 9.3 percent of the city's area, far below the target of 30 percent set by the Spatial Planning Law 26/2007.
I commend Governor Fauzi Bowo and his city administration for converting gas stations into green areas because of two main reasons. First, the conversion of gas stations into green areas is a good precedent for implementing spatial plans. Over the years, the spatial plan seems to be a legal document that is not fully enforced and implemented. The 27 gas stations are located in the areas designated as green areas in the Jakarta spatial plans 1965-1985, 1985-2005 and 2000-2010. For many years, the city conceded to the powerful owners of the gas stations and could not enforce and implement the spatial plans. In March 2008, the city proposed the plan of the gas stations conversion but it was rejected by the Jakarta City Council. This year, the city resubmitted the proposal and it was approved by the newly elected Jakarta City Council.
It is useful to begin with higher level thoughts about spatial planning. The European Parliament adopted a European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) in 1999.
The aim of spatial development policies is to work towards a balanced and sustainable development of the territory of the European Union. In the Ministers' view, what is important is to ensure that the three fundamental goals of European policy are achieved equally in all the regions of the EU:
• economic and social cohesion;
• conservation and management of natural resources and the cultural heritage;
• more balanced competitiveness of the European territory.
What is interesting about this is that it considers not just a single city region, but the inter-relationship between cities and regions across Europe. And about balanced development. We could do with a bit of thinking like that in New Zealand - before imposing an Auckland spatial development plan.
Why? Well - for a start the Auckland growth projections show the lion's share of NZ growth is assumed to occur in Auckland, at the expense of other cities and regions across the country. ie Auckland competes with the rest of New Zealand for people, resources, employment - and just about everything else. Is it really sensible to promote and develop Auckland at the expense of the rest of New Zealand, and without at the same time, promoting other parts of New Zealand? I don't think so. I can think of many councillors in the past who have called upon NZ Government to adopt a national population strategy - in an effort to ensure that NZ growth and development was regionally distributed.
There is not good reason to stuff up Auckland through requiring it to absorb the rest of the nation's growth as well as its own.
The ESDP objectives may be summarised as follows:
• sustainable development
• polycentric pattern of towns and cities
• new urban-rural relations
• creative management of cultural and natural values
Which is fairly broad and uses the "s" word which may not pass the lips of anyone in present government. It seems. However, much of what emerged from further consideration of the "sustainable development" objective was the economic development thrust of what became known as the Lisbon/Gothenburg objectives, part of which go like this:
1. Making Europe and its regions more attractive places to live and work
• Expand and improve transport infrastructure
• Strengthen synergies between environmental protection and growth
• Address Europe’s intensive use of traditional energy sources
2. Improving knowledge and innovation for growth
• Increase and improve investment in RTD
• Facilitate innovation and promote entrepreneurship
• Promote the information society for all
• Improve access to finance
3. More and better jobs
• Attract and retain more people in employment and modernise social protection systems
• Improve adaptability of workers and enterprises and the flexibility of the labour market
• Increase investment in human capital through better education and skills
• Develop effective administrative capacity
• Help maintain a healthy labour force
And this is part of a European spatial development plan - spatial development including economic development - and relating to cities and regions.
Turning back to Jakarta, we find that Spatial Planning has been adopted by law as an institutional planning tool. This is apparently referred to as Law 6/2007. It requires a National Spatial Plan with National Strategic Area Spatial Planning. Then there is a spatial planning requirement at provincial (regional) levels, and a spatial planning requirement at urban (city) levels. There is a requirement for Metropolitan Spatial Planning and what is termed Agropolitan Planning.
It appears that this new planning approach (and the gas station story above, came as a reaction to a previous spatial plan, which is criticised in this 2006 newspaper story as follows:
"...July 14 2006 What will Jakarta be like in 2010? It will be a money-driven city with less social justice and no improvement in public facilities, urban planners say. While Jakarta's residents hope it will be more livable in the future, the city's spatial planning blueprint, known as Jakarta 2010, would likely disappoint most people.Not all spatial plans are sustainable. But they clearly need to be rather more than maps with future roads and railways marked on them. (I have spoken to a number of prospective candidates for Auckland Council who - when asked about spatial planning - speak only about rail to the Auckland Airport and the Britomart Tunnel).
There is a significant increase in land allocated for "prospective economic areas," which will occupy half the city within the next four years. Meanwhile, living area shrinks, a plan that according to urban planning expert Bianpoen would most likely affect the 5.4 million poor people living in kampongs and slums.
"The city plan lacks social justice as it continuously evicts the poor to make way for the rich elite," Bianpoen said after a Wednesday urban planning revitalization workshop held by the Jakarta chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).
Currently, Jakarta's population swells to 12 million during the day, when commuters from surrounding towns make their way into the city. Some 8.7 million people actually live within the city limits. Each year, about 350,000 newcomers move here from other regions. Jakarta 2010 projects a total of 12.5 million inhabitants.
Meanwhile, the city has lowered its sights in terms of providing open space and greenery. Bianpoen said although the city plans to increase green areas to some 9,200 hectares from the existing 7,250 hectares, the target has actually been reduced to almost half that identified in the 1985-2005 master plan....
Canberra has adopted a spatial plan. Part of Canberra planning. Goes like this:
The Canberra Spatial Plan is the key strategicThis is a large topic, and a large posting, so I'll bring it to a close, picking up on the Canberra mention of indicators (targets). In Auckland we haven't been that good at targets. We like the big hairy strategy and vision, but we don't mention targets, or how they will be met along the way. Some Auckland documents do mention targets though, and I think any Spatial Planning exercise would be irresponsible without them. These are development performance measures contained in the Auckland Sustainable Development Framework:
planning document for directing and managing
urban growth and change. It sets actions for
30 years and beyond to achieve this. The
Canberra Spatial Plan outlines a strategic
direction to achieve the social, environmental
and economic sustainability of Canberra as part
of The Canberra Plan.
The key principles underpinning The Canberra Spatial Plan are to:
■ Contain growth within 15 kms of the city
centre to reduce sprawl and protect biodiversity.
■ Increase the number of homes within
7.5 kms of the city centre to provide a
wider range of housing close to
employment and services.
■ Locate new residential areas close to town
centres and transport routes.
■ Locate employment close to residential
areas and transport routes.
■ Provide good travel connections to
minimise journey times and trip length.
■ Protect areas of high conservation value
from the impact of development.
■ Protect and enhance important assets.
■ Be a responsible partner in the region.
The Canberra Spatial Plan will be implemented over the next 30 years
through key interventions including land release, investment strategies
and further investigations. Some immediate actions include land release,
investment in infrastructure, Central Canberra Implementation Program,
master plans for urban renewal sites, policy changes to the Territory Plan
and the National Capital Plan and further investigations. The Canberra
Spatial Plan contains indicators for measuring progress and developing
new or revised strategies.
GDP per capita.I have not included them all, and there will be others. Of course. Just to give you an idea. And these targets or measures need to be in the spatial plan, by area, and with targets each 3 year period, or so. So that progress can be measured. Not just soft words.
Patent applications per capita.
R&D spend as a percentage of GDP.
Resource effi ciency.
Occupation by industry.
Percentage/number of businesses in knowledge-intensive
high-tech services and creative industries.
Unemployment/labour force participation or utilisation.
Retention of skilled people and skills gap.
Business survival rates.
Access to broadband and cost.
Number of venture capital deals.
Proportion of private motor vehicle travel compared to sustainable transport.
Community resource accessibility index.
Percentage of population within identified growth areas.
Percentage of employment within identified growth areas.
Community perceptions of design (satisfaction with neighbourhood and new development).
Urban design review (expert opinions).
Total number/proportion of residential dwellings that meet minimum insulation standards.
Number of new residential dwellings built with solar water heating.
Kilometres and connectivity of bike paths.
Fuel consumption per capita.
Resident rating of satisfaction with accessibility; e.g. to services, shopping, open space, recreational facilities, passenger transport, etc.
Percentage of total development (new building consents) in growth areas and green field areas.
Urban density (number of people/dwellings per hectare).
Ratio of high/medium/low-density dwelling types in growth areas.
Housing stock by style, number of bedrooms, location.
Number of new residential dwellings built with rainwater tanks.
Percentage of all new public buildings that are built to 4 star Green Star standards.
Means of travel to work.
Average length of journey to work.
Percentage of population who live within 500 metres of a train station or transport hub.
Activity mix in centres and pedestrian traffic (measure of vibrancy in centres).
Total urban footprint and measures of land use (industrial, residential, business etc).
What I wanted to do here, is to broaden the idea of spatial planning, and to send a message to those who are presently drafting words for Auckland Local Government Bill No. 3 - don't confine your thinking to Auckland, and don't confine New Zealand's growth to Auckland either. The whole country needs to share in our country's economic development - the good bits and the bad bits.