Auckland's rapid growth has been a challenge for the last few years, and it is expected to continue over the foreseeable future.
Growth has consistently exceeded forecasts and we expect to be a region of around 2 million people by 2028.
Growth presents us with many opportunities but it also presents challenges such as:
- demand for new housing
- increasing congestion on roads
- pressure on the natural environment.
There has been past underinvestment in key infrastructure such as transport, stormwater, and some community facilities. The pressures of growth worsen some of these existing problems.
The combination of rapid growth and a history of underinvestment in transport infrastructure, particularly public transport, means that Auckland's transport system does not meet our needs.
Congestion costs the region $1-2 billion a year. Other major transport challenges include:
- poor travel options, especially in lower income areas
- a near doubling of deaths and serious injuries on roads since 2012
- the need to reduce the transport system's environmental impact
- enabling and supporting a rapid acceleration in the rate of housing construction
- the need for streets to play a growing role in creating vibrant and inclusive places.
- enable development through our planning functions
- provide infrastructure (e.g. transport, water, community facilities) to support new and existing housing areas
- work with central government, iwi and the private sector to support their building programmes
- regenerate town centres to make them more attractive for new development.
Addressing these transport issues has been a major focus since the councils of the Auckland region were amalgamated in 2010.
Progress has been made in some areas. For example, public transport use has grown by around 50per cent since Auckland Council was formed. However, congestion continues to grow, with up to 800 cars arriving on our roads every week.
These issues reduce our economic productivity and lower the quality of life for those with long and unreliable commutes.
Without major new investment, the transport network will struggle to provide sufficient capacity and travel choice to address current issues, let alone keep pace with the 300,000 extra people projected to live in Auckland over the next decade.
The level of investment required is beyond our ability to address on our own, and within traditional funding mechanisms. We need to work with central government to align our transport investments and to find new ways of funding transport infrastructure.
The rate and speed of Auckland's population growth is putting pressure on our communities. The increasing size and diversity of our population requires planningand response.
There is an increased demand for community infrastructure but also differing types of provision because of an ageing population and the different ethnicities that now call Auckland home.
Responding to this means ensuring our community facilities are fit for purpose going forward and providing a range of community-building initiatives at a local level.
Housing supply is a major concern to Aucklanders. The building of new houses has not kept pace with the growing population, resulting in a shortage of housing and escalating prices. The council does not build houses, but our role is to:
Infrastructure is a key enabler of housing development, but it is also expensive.
While some of the cost can be recovered from developers, often this is long after we have built the infrastructure, and in the meantime, we borrow to cover that cost.
We are nearing the limits of what we can sustainably borrow, but the demand to make land available for new housing continues to grow.