Photo of the Day: Mere Kirihimete

Christmas trees and the changing city:

37 ANZAC_5494

HOPETOUN_6106

HOPETOUN_6026

Two of my favourite things; a more dynamic city and Pohutukawa trees. Have a great day and we’ll see you for an even more urban 2016!

 

 

 

Photo of the Day: ‘The Model Demonstrates…’

The model demonstrates that basic spatial interactions between land uses and transport infrastructure are the most powerful factors that govern the patterns of metropolitan growth.

Land use and Transport

Indeed.

Thanks to our London branch.

Photo of the Day: New Canadian PM takes Subway home on Election Night

New Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has wasted no time in clearly positioning himself as pro-city and pro-Transit with the release a series of shots of him using the Montréal Metro on election night.

TRUDEAU TRANSIT

First Turnbull now Trudeau. Transit is obviously seen by these new leaders as a marker for broader policy; climate change, energy, infrastructure, and, no doubt, their accessibility to the people they represent. Only travelling in big-arsed fossil fuelled BMWs looks decidedly dated in this context.

We look forward to real policy and budgetary change consistent with these images to be clear this isn’t just PR, and we also look forward to our politicians catching up with this trend, and in a real way: Key, Bridges; your move….?

Trudeau twitter

Photo of the Day: Our Beautifully Constrained City

Sometimes something as simple as looking at things from a fresh angle can help clarify an issue. Here is a wonderful image from the International Space Station that really should help people understand the profoundly real geographical constraints that bind Auckland. Beautiful blue water and rugged green ranges:

AKL from space

Anyone who claims Auckland can have or does have the same pattern as Houston, or Atlanta, or London [like MP Judith Collins did recently], needs to go back to Geography 101. The physical geography of a city’s site is always the first determinant of its urban form. Technology, culture, wealth, history and infrastructure are all important, but still secondary, to those first facts of the place and its climate. And as we try to shape it; it shapes us too.

Doesn’t the privilege of seeing our city from this distance reinforce the responsibility to take greater care with what we do build, and to leave as much of the remaining wilder parts of this limited land in as unmolested a condition as possible?

Photo of The Day: Drivers get it.

The big winners from investment in high quality urban Transit are of course drivers. They benefit from all the people making the rational decision to choose other ways to get around freeing up the roads for those who need or choose to drive. The numbers choosing to make this shift depends on the quality of the alternatives, as is shown by the huge and ongoing rise in ridership in response to the upgrade of the rail network this decade. A boom in uptake that completely caught officials and transport professionals by surprise. Here is the Ministry of Transport report to the Minister as recently as October 2014:

OCT 2014

And of course the road freight industry should understand this too; their productivity will rise with every switch from driving to alternative systems in cities. 77% of all vehicles are private cars, so enabling a reduction in private car use, especially at the peaks, is likely to be more cost effective way of speeding truckies and tradies than spending 10 of billions on more roads which simply incentivise more private driving on all roads. Especially as this spending squeezes out opportunities to invest in complementary networks. This is the contradiction at the heart of the RoNS model, especially for urban areas; using all available funds to induce more driving, because traffic is congested.

Auckland needs better alternatives to driving not alternative roads to drive on. For drivings sake.

From this morning’s Herald, Drive. Dr Anil Sharma, Porsche enthusiast:

Herald drive Sept 15_800

Photo of the day: Ride in to the mist

While most of Auckland basked in glorious sunshine on Tuesday morning, a patch fog enveloped the area around the upper harbour making Auckland’s second harbour crossing disappear into the distance.

Upper Harbour Bridge Cycleway

Image of the day: Museum Boulevard

This interesting image popped up on twitter today showing an earlier plan for the area behind the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

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It looks like it would have been a fairly grand boulevard to complement the museum but it obviously never happened. This is how it currently looks.

image001-5

Photo of the Day: Street Opened

The truly great Lyttelton Market:

LYTTELTON MARKET_8721

Photo of the day – O’Connell Before and After

The other day Patrick posted a number of pictures looking at shared spaces around the city with a number looking at O’Connell St. Our friend oh.yes.melbourne dug through his old photos and was able to match up them to ones he had taken of from almost the exact same locations. The results are below.

O'Connell Before and After 1

O'Connell Before and After 2

O'Connell Before and After 3

O'Connell Before and After 4

O'Connell Before and After 5

Such a huge improvement and as Patrick’s photo’s show, the change has helped bring life to what was once a fairly avoided street

Photo of the Day: Vulcan Lane

Following on from this morning’s post on some of the central city Victorian streets I thought a little look back would be useful; so here is Vulcan Lane just before the City Council bravely excluded cars from it in 1968, as a result of a campaign by retailers in the area keen to improve its appeal as a shopping destination. Coming up for 50 years ago!

Vulcan Lane 1968

Vulcan Lane 1968

From the Sir George Grey Special Collections at the Auckland Library. There’s also this excellent blog post with more images and further history including how it got its very cool name. Tracking the story of the street is to follow fashions in street design through the 20th century. In the 20s there were calls for widening, then one-waying, and finally in 1964 27 retailers petitioned the Council to close it to traffic. $13,000 was voted for this in 1967:

Vulcan Lane

Plenty of ‘foremen’ on the job.

Even further back; upper Vulcan Lane in 1919, a lovely sterograph image [hauntingly like a De Chirco painting]:

Upper Vulcan Lane 1919

Upper Vulcan Lane 1919