This will rip Len Brown’s undies

Len Brown wants us to have the most liveable city in the world…perhaps I might subscribe to his plans if he had said most productive city in the world…unfortunately his plans preclude that and thus doom Auckland to mediocrity and poverty.

The denser the city, the more productive, efficient and powerful it becomes. The theoretical physicists,?Luis Bettencourt and Geoffrey West?calculated that if the population of a city is doubled, average wages go up by 15%, as do other measures of productivity, like patents per capita. Economic output of a city of 10 million people will be 15-20% higher than that of two cities of 5 million people. Incomes are on average five times higher in urbanised countries with a largely rural population. And at the same time, resource use and carbon emissions plummet by 15% for every doubling in density, because of more efficient use of infrastructure and better use of public transportation.

Being denser doesn’t mean being less liveable…ironically it is?believed?to be more sustainable…which will put another rent in Len Brown’s undies.

The urban revolution of the Anthropocene [Age of Modern man] could prove to be the solution to many of our environmental and social problems, allowing humans to inhabit the planet in vast numbers, but in the most sustainable way. Or, it could finally prove to be our species? undoing, the apocalyptic version of the dystopian megacity so often portrayed in science fiction.

Whether the cities of the Anthropocene will be environmentally sustainable or not depends on how the slum districts of developing world cities evolve. Will cities follow the inefficient North American model: suburban sprawl of highway-linked satellite towns, or rather the closely packed high-rises of Hong Kong and Singapore? Seoul is one example of how a city can transform in a couple of decades ? from a filthy slum in which one-third lived in low-rise squatter settlements, to a shining functioning city of metro-linked skyscrapers in which most of the 25 million population live in healthy surroundings.

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