A perceptive (though perhaps less than tactful) commenter said, in response to my post on the Johnsonville Town Centre Plan:
The major flaw seems to be the assumption that J'Ville becomes a walkable community. People are stupidly lazy and will drive 5 minutes instead of walking 10. Take the ugly car parks away and they'll probably just drive somewhere else.In my response, I suggested that it's a valid concern, but that evidence suggests that those who live close to the centre are less likely to drive. The Census data that I analysed some time ago applies only to driving to work, rather than for shopping or entertainment, but it gives some indication that car use among those within walking distance of the town centre and transport hub is much lower than further out. Here's a repeat of my previous map, with shades of red for places where more than 50% of people drive to work and blue for less than 50%, but this time with the Johnsonville "intensification zone" highlighted in green.
It's clear that most people in the intensification zone don't use a car to get to work, while by the time you get out to the further reaches of the northern suburbs, car use is dominant. Thus, it seems sensible to encourage more residents in the inner zone (which, it should be noted, doesn't include the controversial Woodland Rd subdivision), given that most current residents find that walking or using public transport is feasible. I'm not so ready to label those further out as "stupidly lazy", though: I don't think I'd be keen on walking 20 minutes up a steep hill on a Wellington winter's day.
One possible anomaly stands out. The zone contracts to exclude Alex Moore Park, which is sensible enough, but the blocks just southwest of there are pretty close to the transport hub, and it evidently seems to be a location that is convenient for public transport. Can anyone think of why it was excluded from the townhouse zone? Is it an area of outstanding built or natural heritage (don't laugh)? Does a councillor live there?