Quarter-Acre Dream Changing
1 December 2015
Growing numbers of New Zealanders favour mixed-use housing developments. The traditional Kiwi preference for a large, stand-alone house on a quarter acre diminishes once people think about the distance from work and amenities, a new survey shows.
The University of Otago’s Centre for Sustainable Cities survey looks at 3,080 people’s sentiments about cities, including housing.
Not all respondents favoured the quarter-acre dream, University of Otago assistance research fellow Anna Hamer- Adams says. “Many New Zealanders would still like a large, stand-alone house,” Hamer-Adams says. “But that view changes when people are asked to think about distance from the city or town centre.”
Even communities Which were opposed to These concepts before Have become more Understanding of the Wider social implications For a city that doesn’t Provide more affordable Types of housing - Penny Hulse
More respondents (37%) than not (32%) favour a quality, compact city vision, similar to the Auckland Unitary Plan, for their own city. Auckland and Wellington respondents are more comfortable, however, with densification in their neighbourhoods than other New Zealanders.
The survey also shows respondents aged under 25 and over 65 are more likely to prefer a smaller house, townhouse or apartment in the city or town centre than other age groups. Hamer-Adams says the results indicate New Zealanders are moving towards the idea of mixed-use development where housing is within walking and cycling distance of such key amenities as work, school or shopping. Auckland deputy mayor Penny
Hulse says there has been a noticeable turnaround in community perspectives on the Unitary Plan and the need for intensification.
“Even communities which were opposed to these concepts before have become more understanding of the wider social implications for a city that doesn’t provide more affordable types of housing,” Hulse says.