Grand vision for Auckland revealed

Auckland mayor Len Brown has today unveiled his vision to make it the world's most liveable city by 2040.

The 30-year plan looks to create a world-class city centre and waterfront with a city rail link, and to focus on improving education, health and housing.

It also sets sets out how Auckland will absorb an additional one million people and build 400,000 houses to accommodate them in the next 30 years.

"We're planning for a successful inclusive city that future generations will be proud of,'' he said.

While many Aucklanders were doing well "at the same time, approximately 30 per cent of Aucklanders (almost 400,000 people) live in communities of high deprivation,'' the plan said.

These areas would have significant increases in the numbers of children over the next 20 years.

While he supported initiatives, there also needed to be a focus on affordable housing and support for low income families, said Mangere Budgeting Services Trust chief executive Darryl Evans.

Many families were living in overcrowded conditions and struggling to meet living costs, he said.

"It's very gloomy out in the community and we need a leader to also focus on the issues that impact low income families _ they're a growing community,'' he said.

One in five children in the greater Auckland area lived in an impoverished home, and in areas of south Auckland that figure was even higher, said Evans.

The draft Auckland plan set out five major changes for creating a globally competitive city while keeping local character, opportunities, protecting the natural environment and the diversity and cultural vitality.

These included improving prospects for young people, environmental action, public transport within one network, improving urban living and living standards for all Aucklanders.

To cope with the expected population increase, it proposed a quality, compact city with 75 per cent of new housing created within the city through higher-density living.

The Green Party supported the proposal, which was "far more ambitious than the Government's grey vision of more motorways and sprawl'', said Green Party MP David Clendon.

He said Aucklanders should be free to plan the city's future without being derailed by the Government.

"We welcome the draft Auckland Plan and support the right of Aucklanders to determine their own fate,'' he said.

The plan invested in young people, economic development, renewable energy, climate change, urban design and public transport, said Clendon _ "all win-wins''.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association also applauded the plan, which supported the development of infrastructure and the growth of businesses, said representatives.


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