The Smart Growth Concept For New Builds
The smart growth concept of living has no quarter acre section, no family house and no car. People live in small apartments and use public transport.
Smart growth commonly occurs in countries with little land (e.g. Hong Kong) but many cities are moving towards smaller houses and apartments and are trying to encourage people to use public transport rather than everyone having their own cars.
Goodbye The Kiwi Dream
The Kiwi dream (New Zealand dream) is all about owning a family house on a quarter acre section, generally with at least one motor vehicle (car or ute) and often includes having a boat as well.
It’s not just Kiwi trivia, for years Kiwis have expected they could own their own home, and many seem to think it should be easy.
As Kiwianarama says;
The dream of owning a family home on a quarter acre property is hard-wired into the Kiwi psyche, dating back to the early days of colonial immigration, when large tracts of land were stolen (legally purchased) from local Maori by the British government, subdivided into quarter-acre plots, and offered for tuppence and a boat fare to rugged young Englishmen prepared to sail half way round the world to shear sheep, spear whales, and suppress their emotions for a living.
Of course, that was a long time ago.
Today in the cities like Auckland housing affordability has become an issue for many, so Kiwi first home buyers are now looking at smaller houses, townhouses and apartments.
What Is The Smart Growth Concept?
The Smart growth concept as explained on Wikipedia is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl. It also advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, and mixed-use development with a range of housing choices.
The term ‘smart growth’ is particularly used in North America. In Europe and particularly the UK, the terms ‘Compact City’ or ‘urban intensification’ have often been used to describe similar concepts.
It is more a concept than a specific style of home.
Do We Want The Smart Growth Concept?
Probably not, or at least not to the extreme.
While we might understand that land is expensive and the size of sections needs to reduce, we still all want a deck or back yard big enough for a bbq, and a carport or garage to park our car.
Instead what is has proven popular is planned communities like Hobsonville Point.
In Hobsonville Point you will find a range of housing options from the smaller new AXIS Homes for first home buyers to the larger renovated older homes. What is very different to the typical New Zealand city suburbs is the emphasis on shared public spaces meaning there is plenty of space around.
This is what we consider a smart growth concept for New Zealand.