New Horizon poll: Survey of sentiments about cities

A new survey shows most New Zealanders favour mixed-use development, urban limits and council-led urban development. >>

The New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities surveyed 3,080 New Zealanders using a Horizon Poll to find out their opinions and preferences for urban environments, including the types and locations of housing, transport options, and planning regulations.

Not all respondents favoured the quarter-acre dream. More respondents (37%) than not (32%) were in favour of having a quality, compact city vision for their own city, similar to the Auckland Plan. Auckland and Wellington respondents in particular were more comfortable with intensification in their neighbourhoods than other New Zealanders. Those under-25 and over 65 years-old were more likely to prefer a smaller house, townhouse or apartment in the city/town centre than other age groups.

The survey found 81% of New Zealanders still want large, stand-alone houses, but this figure dropped to 55% when asked to think about distance from the city/town centre. 27% preferred to live in a smaller house, townhouse or apartment in the city/town if it meant they had a shorter commutes and were close to amenities.

The majority (75%) favoured mixed-use development where housing was within walking and cycling distance of key amenities like work, school or shopping. Most (59%) said Councils, which represented residents, should have the key role in defining the limits and form of the city, as opposed to market forces.

New Zealanders also saw the need for sustainability. The majority (60%) agreed policies are urgently needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and most (49%) felt urban limits are necessary so that cities develop more sustainably.

This survey forms a chapter of the Drivers of Urban Change report which is part of the Resilient Urban Futures programme funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Media release 1 November 2015 (pdf)

Contact: Anna Hamer-Adams 021 0827 0144

Results are presented in a seminar: Survey of sentiments about cities