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Intensification – thinking about Unitec

06/08/2014

whatsupuniticrevised

Here is a comic I didn’t get quite right for Metro, but waste not want not so here it is up here! I tried to tackle the issue of intensification happening in my neighbourhood. I do believe that the Unitec grounds need intensifying – Mt Albert/Pt Chev are such funny neighbourhoods. The shops, as a whole, are a little run down as the prime business has been siphoned away by St Lukes shopping mall. Both suburb centres are split by major arterial routes, making it hard to saunter across the road or sit under an umbrella on the footpath drinking a craft beer. So yes, if they get the Unitec development right, prioritising pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, maintaining the natural beauty and waterways of the site, installing boutique shops and restaurants rather than chain stores, it could be fantastic. My fear is that they will do it cheaply and quickly, and there’ll be industrial run-off in Oakley Creek, an area that the community has spent lots of time restoring. And I also feel for the local residents, and the quiet kindy that all three of my children went to – it will no longer be quiet; there will be a steady stream of cars coming in and out. The hope is that with increased population density, public transport will get better and even rich people will use it. But Aucklanders seem so wedded to their cars and as I write there is a league of road workers carving an ever wider gully between Unitec and the Pt Chev shops for the south-western motorway. A bunch of high rise apartments are planned to overlook the motorway. Sure, they’ll be able to see the sea, but what about those stats about how unhealthy it is to live above 10 lanes of traffic? You can look at Unitec’s submission here – it’s really long, but if you scroll to the end you can see the actual plans. My call to Unitec is this: it’s amazing opportunity – get it right!

Oh, and if you haven’t already, you should vote in the NZ Post Book Awards People’s Choice. Of course I will love you forever if you vote for me, but we (the non-shortlisted fiction writers of NZ) want to see if it’s possible for a fiction book not on the shortlist to win.

One Comment leave one →
  1. 06/08/2014 3:39 pm

    Love the first part of the comic strip such a great piece/analogy I can t really comment on the intensification issue as I don’t live in Auckland. I especially like the third frame – why is there this huge push to make everything a vocational output? Even though this happened a few months back now, is this the beginning of a bad trend in education?

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