Tag Archives: Sustainable environment

Reykjavik, Iceland: The strongest mirror [speculative apartments]

I missed it – the Otago Polytechnic press release of Thursday 21 March.

Icelandic Activist To Speak At Dunedin School Of Art
Iceland democracy activist and artist Hordur Torfason will be speaking at Otago Polytechnic’s Dunedin School of Art on Wednesday the 27th of March, as part of a series of nationwide talks on modern democracy. cont.

By chance, at morning coffee a friend mentioned the speaking event and offered a ride there. Well. Not one speaker, but two —good fortune doubled. All Dunedin residents should have downed tools, pots and pans to attend.

The two men from Iceland, Hordur Torfason and life partner Massimo Santanicchia, each delivered a session, with Santanicchia up first. They shared intriguing, calm, sensible statements about their lives and work, about the quality and countenance of human social interaction, within a gripping exposé of the capitalist drain and the peaceful revolution that occurred in their financially devastated homeland — with thoughts to urbanism, greed, discrimination, corruption, property speculation, sick governance, economic collapse, human rights, the lobby power of silence, noise and internet, and the Icelandic people’s hard-won solidarity for change.

A compelling two-hour glimpse at a nation losing and finding itself.

Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, is the strongest of mirrors held to Dunedin’s glaring errors of recent and pending ‘big’ construction, economic blunders, and forces of business and political corruption – in turn, Dunedin reflects our nation’s wider political and economic struggles.

[Dunedin, we’re not crippled yet… but New Zealand? Blind rhetoric.]

ODT 21-12-12 screenshotProposed hotel and apartment building, Dunedin (ODT Online, 21 Dec 2012)

Derelict Reykjavik Highrises (Donncha O Caoimh 9-3-12 inphotos.org)Derelict Reykjavik highrises

While on our photowalk today we passed these buildings on the sea front. I thought they were just another apartment building until I noticed that the balconies were fenced in by planks of wood held together loosely!
Donncha O Caoimh (9 March 2012)

Originally from Perugia, Italy, Massimo Santannichia graduated from the School of Architecture in Venice in 2000 and holds an MA from the Architectural Association, School of Architecture in London, and an MSc in Urban Studies from the London School of Economics. He has been working as an architect and urban designer in Italy, the UK and Iceland. Over the last decade he has come to know Reykjavik intimately. Essentially an outsider in the tightly knit Icelandic society he has survived the downturn by moving from the firm Arkitektur to a plethora of internationally connected activity – delivering courses at the Iceland Academy of Arts since 2004 and coordinating projects and workshops with organisations such as the International Peace and Cooperation Centre and the Architectural Association.

Santanicchia’s research interests include relations between the ecological, physical, social and economical aspects of cities. He has lectured extensively on the subject of sustainable cities and small scale urbanism in Zurich, Athens, Oslo, London, Venice, Riga and Reykjavik.

Massimo Santanicchia (AA Summer School promo for July 2013)Santanicchia, second from right (AA Summer School promo for July 2013)

The Production of Space: The lesson from Reykjavik

According to Santanicchia, small cities (less than 500,000 inhabitants) host fifty-two per cent of the world’s urban population, yet they are profoundly neglected in the urban studies field. His presentation at the School of Art focused on the small city of Reykjavik (118,326 inhabitants), investigating how the planning system is trying to build a new urban strategy away from the world city model which was adopted until the banking collapse of 2008.

Reykjavik, Iceland - houses (trekearth.com) 2Reykjavik, Iceland – vernacular housing (trekearth.com)

Commodifying the view…
In particular, Santanicchia noted Reykjavik’s receipt of its first ‘tall buildings’, a crop of extraordinarily bleak apartment developments set against the vernacular lowrise, 3-4 storeyed townscape, blocking existing residential views of the coastline – through to (now dead) speculative drive-to malls and commercial buildings [‘build it and they will come’] further problematised by the profound lack of public transport and infrastructural support to the (then) ‘new phase’ of development.

Throughout the commentary, the physical and moral contradictions were purposefully illustrated by well-selected slides, quotations, and use of statistics. Santanicchia’s creative and socio-political approach to what ails, and demonstrations of how to foster community investment in sustainable environment, is the busy-work of a contemporary intellectual with a warm humanity, grounded in the discipline of practical economics working for the public good.

He and students have won grants to set ‘in place’ temporal urban interventions that sample ways forward for the local community, utilising vacant and degraded public places; demonstrating creative re-design / re-forming of the opportunities lost to the blanket of capitalist-grey asphalt – making places that create “trust” between institutions and among people.

Massimo Santanicchia, Reykjavik (project work)Reykjavik’s dislocated waterfront (‘reconnection’ project work)
[This work is very similar to that of Gapfiller in post-quake Christchurch.]

Copy of Santanicchia’s presentation slides and readings will be made available through Professor Leonie Schmidt (Head, Dunedin School of Art).

A few points he made along the way, from my notes:

● When “priority is given to economic development” …. the city becomes all about ‘building envelope’, ‘the city as a series of volumes’ (bulk and location) | “Management of the economy is not a city, is not urban planning.”

● In 2008, Iceland’s economy shrank 90%. The economy devalued by more than 100% in one week. 1000 people emigrated which kept unemployment low.

● “Big-fix” solutions don’t work in a small city.

● The DANGER of “one idea” …. “it is NOT a plurality”.

● “The WORST is what was built.” Flats and parking lots. No public transport. No sharing. 7000 apartments at Reykjavik are redundant. 2200 properties have been acquired by the banks.

● “The WORST neighbourhoods were created in the richest years.”

● The government didn’t protect the weakest. “The architecture failed because it placed itself at the service of political and economic interests with very little regard for social interests.”

● (Jane Jacobs, 1984): “The economic model doesn’t provide niches for people’s differing skills, interests and imaginations, it is not efficient.”

● (Aldo Rossi): “Building a city is a collective effort.” [empower the people]

● Post-crash, Iceland’s birthrate has increased and children are happier.

● “Trust is about participation.” Better institutions, social justice, equity and public/private relationships.

Zurich: They used 4 hot air balloons to indicate the height and bulk of a proposed tower development, prior to public submissions being received on the proposal.

[In evidence, at Dunedin, applicant Betterways Advisory said it couldn’t afford to provide a height indicator at 41 Wharf St – all the cranes were in Christchurch (wrong), and where do you get balloons from anyway, it asked…. Mr Rodgers (Betterways), we know, took his mother-in-law ballooning in Germany recently. Perhaps he could’ve made a stopover in the Mackenzie Country on his way home.]

### architecturenow.co.nz 25 Mar 2013
Massimo Santanicchia visits New Zealand
By Stephen Olsen
Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter has won high praise from Reykjavik-based architect Massimo Santanicchia for the “observable scaffolding” it is providing for an area in transition.
Santannichia knows a thing or two about making waterfront spaces more accessible from sparking a design revival at the harbour’s edge of the world’s northernmost capital last year, within the context of an award-winning programme known as the Meanwhile projects.
Santanicchia has also been drawing audiences to hear his views on the ways in which Iceland’s largest city is embracing a more human scale of urbanism in the wake of the financial crash.
Read more

Hordur Torfason followed with a punchy impassioned delivery, spoken with a run of crowd scenes and peaceful protest images repeating behind him. Describing post-crash Reykjavik as a scene of ferment and healing, Torfason took us through specific mechanisms for the peaceful revolution that has worldwide and local application – hear that, Dunedin.

Shortly, Torfason will head to workshops in Cypress. The following interview (2011) covers the gist of his lecture.

A multi-talented individual, he told his story from the age of 21 (1966), of how he grew the personal confidence and expertise (“proving talent”) to lead the people of a city and a nation to overturn the Icelandic Government and jail the bankers. He said Parliament has almost lost ‘all respect amongst all Icelanders’. Nevertheless, there’s a bill in passage to make Iceland a Safe Haven for journalists, whistleblowers, international media – protected by law.

● He maintains the role of the artist is to criticise, that criticism is a form of love: “We have to use reason, cultural roots, feelings and the precious gifts of life – our creativity”, to ensure human rights aren’t undermined by economic growth and politics.

“It’s about learning every week, every day, new sides of corruption,” he said. “Inequality is a tool for extortion, a way to maintain The System.”

● Inequality won’t be removed by conventional systems: “If you want to move a graveyard, don’t expect the inhabitants to help you.”

● “The internet has to be protected to dislodge the monster.”

● “One big party owns one big newspaper for Iceland.” According to that paper there was no crash.

The key word is AWARENESS. The silence of government was upsetting to the people; it meant the people used silence as a mirror to the government and politicians, to protest their rights. The cohesiveness and cleverness of the protest, the silent revolution, achieved 100% success. “They the media won’t tell you [the rest of the world] about it.”

● “Stick together and use the internet.” Make Plan A, B, C, D, E. Protest by peaceful revolution v Arrogance.

● Just 25 people from around the world are responsible for the crash, and one of them was the leader of Iceland’s national bank.

Hordur Torfason - blogs.publico.es (juan carlos monedero June 2011)Hordur Torfason by Juan Carlos Monedero (June 2011)

### grapevine.is August 4, 2011
You Cannot Put Rules On Love
An Interview With Hordur Torfason by Paul Fontaine

“I tell people, ‘I’m not demonstrating. I’m fighting for a better life.’ I think aloud, ask questions, seek answers. I knew there was corruption in this country. But I never thought in my wildest dreams that the banks would crash. We have been told lie after lie after lie, and people just accept them. They say ‘þetta reddast’ [‘it’ll all work out’], until it affects them personally, and then they come screaming.”

The 2008 economic collapse of Iceland would send Hordur’s life path in a whole new direction—one that would take him beyond the bounds of even his own country.
Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Chongqing, Southwest China

Chongqing, China (aerial 2006)### news.xinhuanet.com | English.news.cn 2013-01-26 21:27:26
Chongqing sets new roadmap in post-Bo Xilai era
CHONGQING, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) — Chongqing’s municipal government vowed Saturday it would shake off the impacts of the Bo Xilai scandal and make law-abiding governance the priority alongside further reform. Huang Qifan, mayor of the metropolis in southwest China, described 2012 as an “extremely extraordinary year” for Chongqing’s development in his report on the work of the municipal government, which was delivered to the 4th Chongqing Municipal People’s Congress.

The local legislature convened its annual session on Saturday with aims to outline the city’s future blueprint for the next five years. The mayor said the government has endeavoured to maintain steady economical and social development despite the severe toll of the incidents involving Bo Xilai, with the city recording an annual economic growth of 13.6 percent. “It turned out that Chongqing citizens have weathered storms and withstood ordeals,” he said.

The government published the full text of its work report, in which it placed governing in accordance with the Constitution and the law as a main focus for this year, while references to Chongqing’s previous high-profile crackdowns on organised crimes are notably absent. In 2009, when Bo Xilai was the CPC (Communist Party of China) chief of Chongqing, the city launched a massive anti-crime campaign, prioritising fighting local mafia-style gangs. Though Bo and Chongqing’s police were credited with reducing crime, concerns were raised about abuses of power and the neglect of due legal process.

The government should rule in accordance with the law, and “no organisation or individual has the privilege to overstep the Constitution and the law,” the work report said. A power reshuffle in this session is set to usher in new local leaders, higher requirements are posed for the municipal government to further intensify reform, Huang told the lawmakers, adding that improvement to work style should be made following the central leadership’s call for eradicating bureaucracy and formalism in December.

Officials in Chongqing are urged to remain low-key and down to earth, talk less and work more to better serve the people.
Read more

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“Amazing city… but without spirit… is a City with many construction. Don’t have the beauty of Brasilia… is a new city of construction.” —Cidade_Branca (architect) at SkyscaperCity CHONGQING | Projects & Construction (2.11.07 03:36 AM)

Wikipedia: Chongqing

Chongqing, two rivers (1)

“One river is naturally brown from the silt, the other is normal dark blue.”
the spliff fairy at SkyscraperCity (28.2.13 01:54 PM)

### nytimes.com September 26, 2011
Built in a Dirty Boom, China’s Biggest City Tries to Go Green
By Coco Liu – ClimateWire
CHONGQING, China — Wandering around in downtown Chongqing, it is hard to imagine that this is a city that is going green. Vehicles clog roads in every direction. Construction cranes stretch to the horizon. And huge posters displaying locally produced industrial goods show where the city’s exploding economic growth is coming from. But Chongqing (population 28,846,200) is more than meets the eye. After living with acid rain and toxic smog for decades, the city has been scrambling for ways to clean up the air. It is also overhauling its power-hungry economy and rebuilding it on a base of industries that use less energy.

Chongqing isn’t alone on such a transformation path. It is one of several pilot provinces and cities that Chinese leaders picked last year in an attempt to find a low-carbon growth model that can be spread to the rest of the nation. Experts attribute this new Chinese desire to the fact that China’s environment and natural resources can no longer afford the blights of heavily polluting, energy-intensive growth. Moreover, there is growing pressure from the outside world to reduce emissions.

Chongqing, controlled demolition 30-8-12 (2)Chongqing, controlled demolition 30-8-12 (1)Chongqing, controlled demolition 30.8.12

Cities will play a major role in that effort. During the next 20 years, more than half of global greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to come from the developing world’s cities, and more than half of that will come from Chinese cities, says Michael Lindfield, a lead urban development specialist at the Asian Development Bank. “So the importance of making Chinese cities energy-efficient is really a global issue, not just a Chinese issue,” Lindfield added.

But none of this comes easily. For one, it is hard for cities to uproot decades-old economic foundations. In addition, cities risk revenue losses. Energy-guzzling factories that are shut down, in many cases, can’t be immediately offset by low-carbon industries that are still in their nascent stage. Moreover, the switch from traditional industries to green businesses claims jobs, at least for a short term. While cement makers can hire people with few skills, solar panel producers can’t.

Chongqing [became] one of the nation’s industrial hubs. It is China’s biggest producer of motorcycles. It leads in aluminum production. Every day, containers of made-in-Chongqing steel, chemicals and machinery are loaded on cargo ships and then sent from here to destinations along the Yangtze River. All this came at a heavy price.

Data from the World Bank showed that in the early 2000s, one-third of crops in the Chongqing area had been damaged by acid rain — the result of sulfur dioxide and other industrial pollutants. Breathing here became a dangerous thing to do. The World Bank reported that in 2004, residents in Chongqing were inhaling six times more lung cancer-causing pollutants than the World Health Organization considers safe.

“The city was always enveloped by fog and smog,” explained Li, the local economist. The mountain terrain around it helped concentrate Chongqing’s murky air, he said, “but pollution from heavy industries was the key.”
Read more

Chongqing Planning and Exhibition Centre. The city model shows a concept idea of the future of Chongqing. Most important skyscrapers aren’t added until they have a definitive design. —z0rg at SkyscraperCity CHONGQING | Projects & Construction (6.8.06 09:32 PM)

Chongqing Planning and Exhibition Centre 6.8.06100 towers taller than 200m including 20 supertalls in one city.
Chongqing 200+ metre Listz0rg at SkyscraperCity (6.7.08 10:05 AM)

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[ODT] The project was being advanced on their behalf by Betterways, of which Ms Jing Song was also a director.

### ODT Online Sat, 23 Mar 2013
Betterways, Diamond Heights link
By Chris Morris
DUNEDIN — The construction company linked to Dunedin’s proposed $100 million waterfront hotel is building the tallest tower in western China. The building will be the tallest for the time being, at least. It has been confirmed the company linked to Dunedin’s proposed hotel is Diamond Heights Construction Engineering Co Ltd, which is based in Chongqing, China, and employs more than 1000 staff. The company is owned by Ping Cao, who together with wife Jing Song, of Queenstown, wants to build Dunedin’s five-star hotel on industrial land at 41 Wharf St.

While it was said Diamond Heights would not be directly involved in construction of Dunedin’s hotel – should consent to proceed be granted – Mr Cao and Ms Song planned to fund it together and contract a New Zealand company to build it.

Mr Cao’s company is responsible for the construction of the 65-storey Shangri-la Hotel in Chongqing, which at 290m high will, when completed, be nearly three times the height of Dunedin’s proposed hotel. It was almost finished, with only the exterior cladding to be added, and was an impressive sight when visited by Betterways Advisory Ltd director Steve Rodgers last year, he told the Otago Daily Times.
The company was also involved in other projects in China, including two sprawling mixed-use developments comprising hotels, other commercial buildings and housing.
Read more

Chongqing, Shangri-la Hotel at nightShangri-La Hotels and Resorts is said to be Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group. Four Shangri-La hotels are projected for Chongqing.
Image: businesstraveller.asia

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21.12.12 Proposed hotel – ODT graphic indicates building height
19.12.12 Hearing for proposed hotel – competencies, conflicts of interest?
16.12.12 Proposed Dunedin Hotel #height
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20.11.12 City planner’s report recommends against consent for hotel
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Enhancing building performance #eqnz

Knee-jerk reactions to government proposals are hardly necessary at Dunedin, the DCC’s earthquake-prone buildings policy has already been launched.

DCC Earthquake Strengthening + Policy

ODT 8.12.12:
Dunedin City Council [policy planner – heritage] Glen Hazelton said the Government’s proposals were “pretty much in line” with the council’s existing policy. That policy required owners whose buildings were found to be less than 34% of code requirements to upgrade. Owners had between 15 and 34 years to do so, depending on the state of their building, meaning some would face shorter timeframes under the Government’s proposals than they had expected, but not extra costs. The most earthquake damage-prone buildings had faced the shortest timeframes anyway under the council’s policy. The council had warned owners of the possibility timeframes would be reduced from 34 years.
The council’s own buildings – including the likes of the Town Hall, Municipal Chambers and Railway Station – were already having their earthquake strength tested, council city property manager Robert Clark said. That work began early this year and up to 30 written reports on individual buildings were expected by mid-next year. Some, such as the Municipal Chambers, had already been strengthened, while others, like the Railway Station, were considered to be of sturdy construction, but were being checked, he said. Results were yet to be made public, but buildings appeared to be “measuring up at the moment”, reaching 66% of the building code or even better, he said. The council already faced extra costs, having initiated its own checks, but it was “appropriate” to do so and ensure the health and safety of staff and the public. He expected the checks would meet the requirements of the Government proposals, although detailed information was yet to be received. Mr Clark doubted buildings would need to be abandoned or demolished.
http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/238351/quake-plans-could-see-buildings-adandoned

### NZ Herald Online 5:30 AM Saturday Dec 8, 2012
Earthquake changes could cost $1.7bn
By Isaac Davison
Uncompromising proposals to eliminate or strengthen earthquake-prone buildings could change the face of character areas such as Mt Eden’s Dominion Rd, and cause complex disputes in high-rise apartments owned by multiple parties. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has proposed seismic assessment of all commercial and high-rise, multi-unit buildings in New Zealand – believed to be 193,000 properties.
Those that were not upgraded to withstand a moderate-sized earthquake within 10 years of assessment would be demolished.
The Government proposals were in response to a Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission report on quake-prone buildings, released yesterday. The ministry broadly agreed with the Royal Commission’s recommendations, but it proposed more lenient timeframes for strengthening and did not agree that the minimum threshold for remedial work should be raised. Housing and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said to do so would impose “catastrophic” costs on society.
The Government proposals have been released in a consultation paper. If they are adopted, the cost of the changes would be borne by councils and property owners.
Read more + Q&A

*****

Only 39 people died due to unreinforced masonry buildings at Christchurch, that’s remarkably few given the age and size of the city, the population size and concentration, and the extent of devastation caused by the quakes.

### NZ Herald Online 10:58 AM Friday Dec 7, 2012
Most NZ buildings to be quake assessed
By Isaac Davison
All non-residential buildings and high-rise, multi-unit apartments in New Zealand will be assessed for earthquake risk and the results made public under Government proposals released this morning.
Any building found to be at risk of collapse will have to be strengthened or demolished within 15 years under the proposed changes, which form the Government’s response to a Royal Commission investigation into earthquake-prone buildings after the Canterbury quakes.
The Government planned to adopt many of the commission’s recommendations, but has chosen longer timeframes and lower minimum standards of building strengthening than the report proposed.
The commission found there was poor information on earthquake-prone buildings in New Zealand, lack of central guidance on defining and repairing these structures, and variable council approaches to fixing the problem. Only 23 of 66 local authorities were able to tell the commission how many earthquake-prone buildings were in their area.
Read more

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19.7.12 Tonight – NZHPT Open Lecture WIN CLARK
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5.11.11 Barlow Justice Valuers / New Zealand Historic Places Trust—Heritage Interiors Award 2011-2012
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8.10.11 Workshop for heritage building owners – 23 November
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16.1.11 DScene: Honour heritage
26.12.10 Historic heritage notes

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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New Zealand Urban Design Awards

“The importance of upfront investment in the public domain, whether by a public authority or private developer.”

### idealog.co.nz Fri, 9 Nov 2011 @ 9:24am
Auckland tops at brand new Urban Design Awards
By Design Daily team
Wynyard Quarter’s Jellicoe Precinct and the Auckland City Centre Masterplan have taken the top awards in the first-ever New Zealand Urban Design Awards, a new biennial programme that acknowledges the importance of high quality urban environments.

Jellicoe Precinct, Wynyard Quarter – Winner, Built Projects category

Wellington waterfront – Highly Commended, Built Projects category

[Images via Idealog]

Jury convenor, former New South Wales government architect Peter Mould, said they looked for projects “which established or reinforced urban initiatives and executed them with demonstrable design excellence”. “Urban design is concerned not so much with individual buildings, but with the building of a city. It’s about place making, and it’s also about the public realm.”

Mould said that if a trend emerged from the first Urban Design Awards, “it was the importance of upfront investment in the public domain, whether by a public authority or private developer. Such investment sets the agenda for excellence in the future”.

Waterfront Auckland’s Jellicoe Precinct, stage one of the development of Wynyard Quarter, was an exemplary case of agenda-setting urban design for which consultants Architectus and Taylor Cullity Leathlean and Wraight + Associates deserved congratulation as winner of the Built Projects category.

The New Zealand Urban Design Awards are supported by the New Zealand Institute of Architects, the Urban Design Forum, the New Zealand Planning Institute, the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects and the Property Council of New Zealand.

Joining Mould on the jury were planning consultant David Mead, landscape architect Sally Peake, deputy head of the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning, Lee Beattie, and property developer Patrick Fontein.
Read more + Images

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Govt to open up more land for houses

Twenty years ago the average price of a house cost around four times the average income but now it is nearly double that.

### tvnz.co.nz 5:30AM Monday October 29, 2012
‘No silver bullet’ for housing affordability crisis – PM
Source: ONE News
Prime Minister John Key says fast tracking the supply of land should help solve the current housing affordability crisis. The long-awaited housing plan is due to go before Cabinet today to be signed off, seven months after the Productivity Commission released a report on housing affordability. […] “The sorts of things the Productivity Commission is talking about, and the Government’s going to adopt, is how do we speed up the supply of land so that’s both what we call greenfields, paddocks sitting out there that you extend the urban limit, and secondly brownfield development, so that’s where you don’t have a lot of intensification in a certain area but you allow that to happen more quickly.” […] The soaring price of property has been blamed on a shortage of availability, and Key told TVNZ Breakfast this morning that changing the Resource Management Act (RMA) to speed up the development of land will help solve the supply and demand issue. He said the RMA process at the moment it is often arduous and long – to the detriment of the consumer.
Read more + Videos [Link not available]

New Zealand Productivity Commission
http://www.productivity.govt.nz/

“We’ve got to be careful about Government not blundering in here too much into council business because we don’t understand all the local issues.”

The Government plans to change local government legislation and the Resource Management Act to make it easier for developers to build houses. Finance Minister Bill English wants to make more land available for housing – and to speed up consent processes. [Today] he will take a paper to Cabinet, outlining a response to a Productivity Commission report on housing affordability. Finance Minister Bill English said the cost of building is too high and there is a supply shortage, particularly of good quality, lower priced housing.
DOMINION POST

“The Government owns $15 billion worth of houses, and, in most cities, the best opportunities … [are] on the government-owned Housing Corp land.”

Tackling the high cost of home ownership:
* Government will work with councils on urban planning to make it easier to build houses on “greenfield” sites outside city boundaries and on “brownfield” sites within cities.
* Further Tamaki Transformation-style redevelopments of state housing assets will be done.
* Changes will be made to the Local Government and Resource Management Act to make it easier, quicker and cheaper to build houses.
* Building costs will be reduced through work on the Building Act.
NZ HERALD

### radionz.co.nz Monday 29 October 2012
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
07:15 Government to change rules to make houses more affordable
The Finance Minister, Bill English, has indicated that changing the planning and consent process is among the changes. (4′57″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

### radionz.co.nz Monday 29 October 2012
Morning Report with Geoff Robinson & Simon Mercep
08:12 Cabinet to decide today to relax planning rules for housing
The Cabinet will decide today on changes aimed at making new houses more affordable. (3′13″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

### radionz.co.nz Monday 29 October 2012
Nine To Noon with Kathryn Ryan
11:07 Politics with Matthew Hooton and Josie Pagani
Talking today about the Governments response to the productivity commission. (24′02″)
Audio | Download: Ogg Vorbis MP3 | Embed

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Dunedin Heritage: Central government should be contributing

### ODT Online Mon, 21 Feb 2011
Dunedin faces hard choices over what buildings to protect
By Chris Morris
The partial collapse of a 135-year-old commercial building in central Dunedin may be just the wake-up call the city needs, New Zealand Historic Places Trust Otago-Southland area manager Owen Graham says.
Read more

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Image ©2011 Elizabeth Kerr

### ODT Online Mon, 21 Feb 2011
The Donald Reid warehouse: Two options
By Chris Morris
Housing for students or the perfect home for a local government institution? Streets of empty heritage buildings lining central Dunedin’s streets could become a second home for University of Otago students, New Zealand Historic Places Trust Otago-Southland area manager Owen Graham says.

The largely empty warehouses in the area around Vogel St could be adapted for use as a future “population base” for students sick of North Dunedin’s sometimes squalid flats.

Calls for local government institutions in Dunedin to make use of heritage buildings have not been ignored by city leaders, and a building such as the former Donald Reid warehouse could be an option considered if the Otago Regional Council moves from its Stafford St headquarters.

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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‘Calling facadism preservation is like saying that you can preserve polar bears as rugs.’

Indirect quote via DaveM at ODT Online:

Inaccuracy
Submitted by DaveM on Fri, 20/08/2010 – 9:39am.

I am sorry to see an inaccuracy in a previous ODT report repeated here: that the proposed design ‘closely replicates the existing facades’. It closely replicates only one of the four Princes Street facades, and the remaining three could not even be described as loosely replicated. They look quite different to what is there presently, but do attractively incorporate some stylistic cues from the old buildings.
Facsimile is not a good solution – we wouldn’t preserve the Treaty of Waitangi by photocopying it and throwing away the original. Or, as an American historian says: ‘Calling facadism preservation is like saying that you can preserve polar bears as rugs’.
The historical significance of these buildings is high – much higher than their modest but attractive design would suggest. It is shallow to rank heritage based on how many turrets or frilly decorations something has.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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