Supporting success in regional settlements
Lincoln Planning Review - Special Issue: Building Better Towns and Communities
15 April 2019: The Lincoln Planning Review has just published a special issue of their journal focussed on building better towns and communities. The publication features a number of Supporting success in regional settlements research projects including Waimakariri Way: Community Engagement in Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan; Tourism-led settlement regeneration: Reaching Timaru’s potential; and Planning for Regeneration in the town of Oamaru. The journal also published an Australia and New Zealand Association of Planning Schools (ANZAPS) Conference Report by Hamish Rennie.
Airbnb: Disrupting the regional housing market
4 April 2019:Is Airbnb disrupting the regional housing market in New Zealand? If so, how and to what extent? The first stage of a Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities study by Malcolm Campbell, Hamish McNair, Michael Mackay, and Harvey Perkins shows short-term rental hotspots have been created in New Zealand.
For example, Queenstown Hill has 204 Airbnb listings per 1000 residents. The area with the highest number of Airbnbs is Wanaka, a smaller South Island tourist destination. But has long-term rental availablity and pricing suffered as a result? Another key issue for future research is how short-term rentals pose a challenge to local authorities who collect property taxes based on the value of the property, with some local authorities proposing or enacting specific by-laws in relation to Airbnb.
The study, published in the Regional Studies Association journal, shows a snapshot in time of the spatial distribution of accommodation provided through Airbnb throughout New Zealand.
Local growth is complex!
15 March 2019: Current European regional policy promotes "smart specialisation" by encouraging regions to expand into activities that "build on local strengths". Smart specialisation rests upon the idea that bringing together people with complementary skills helps them generate new ideas that boost innovation and growth. But does this actually work?
In a study funded by the Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge, Benjamin Davies and Dr David Maré, both of Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, analyse the potential for this way of generating ideas to promote urban employment growth in New Zealand. They find that, in New Zealand, the presence of related industries in an area is not a strong predictor of local employment growth.
The regeneration of Oamaru
4 March 2019: With a population of around 14,000 and climbing, the regeneration of Oamaru continues to be a New Zealand success story for the revitalisation of second-tier settlements. The town provides a primer for how to reboot a region and prevent the development of “zombie” settlements.
The Oamaru case study by Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge, led by Dr Mike Mackay, Lincoln University, and involving Drs Nick Taylor and Karen Johnston, and Emeritus Professor of Planning Harvey Perkins, provides an analysis of Oamaru’s past, present, and future initiatives for regeneration. How did Oamaru become an attractive place to live, visit, work, and do business?
Success in Regional Settlements team delivers results at RSA Conference
15 February 2019: Building Better’s Supporting Success in Regional Settlements research team was out in force to deliver research results from Phase 1 at the Regional Studies Association of Australasia Conference, held this week in Christchurch. Led by Emeritus Professor Harvey Perkins, the team examined the lived and comparative experience of regional small-town New Zealand.
“Part of our mission is to interpret and support local efforts to make these places more attractive to live in, visit, work and do business. Identifying practical solutions for settlement regeneration success is a central goal.
“The research team is examining the broad contexts of regional settlements, their trajectories, and how residents are defining their situation and engaging in initiatives to improve their towns economically, socially, culturally, and environmentally,” says Harvey.
Home and business: Living in harmony
17 December 2018: In a column in Architecture Now, Arthur Grimes, programme leader for the Supporting success in regional settlements research team writes about findings from a recent study his team has completed regarding what individuals and businesses prefer when it comes to locale. It seems that the things that make a place liveable and the things that make a place good for business are at odds. But can we have both?
Amenities and the attractiveness of New Zealand cities
20 November 2018: A new report by Building Better’s Supporting Success in Regional Settlements team, Kate Preston, Arthur Grimes, David Maré, and Stuart Donovan, analyses the factors that attract people and firms (and hence jobs) to different settlements across New Zealand. The team compiled quality of life and quality of business indicators for 130 settlements from 1976 to 2013, using census rent and wage data.
"Households and firms prefer different amenities, which means places with high quality of life often have low quality of business. For instance, households appear to prefer sunny, dry locations near water, while firms appear to prefer to locate in larger cities," says Dr Grimes.
August 2017: The famous Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier once said that people needed space and light just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep. To paraphrase, dwellings that are situated or designed with good exposure to sunlight are generally preferred as places to live and work compared to those with lesser light levels. Now, research organisation Motu Economic and Public Policy Research have managed to put a price on that sunshine.
Nine to Noon Radio NZ interview with Arthur Grimes: Giving sunshine a price tag
18 July 2017: To listen to Arthur Grimes Giving sunshine a price tag interview on Radio New Zealand's Nine to Noon programme, with Kathryn Ryan, please click play below:
Supporting regional settlements
August 2017: The strength and integrity of regional settlements in Aotearoa New Zealand is under scrutiny, with questions about how to reboot struggling regions. There are economic and demographic issues linked to quantitative evidence of declining and ageing populations and challenging economic circumstances.
In response, National Science Challenge: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities has the objective of building a better understanding of the lived experience of regional and small town New Zealand. Its mission is to support local efforts to make these places more attractive to live, visit, work and do business.