The original article on "Digital Chainlinks - some attributes" was posted back in July 2014.
What follows is a tentative take on how a typical article might look with embedded links etc. It is essentially written in the same style that I would use for a hard-copy Chainlinks. Do we need to change this? Comments VERY Welcome! I've tweaked the first paragraph in response to a suggestion from Alastair
Meeting the challenge posed to cycling by ongoing urban sprawl
Recent high level planning documents for Christchurch and Auckland continue to propose expanded urban limits as a means of meeting a shortage of affordable housing. Housing crises in the 1950s and 1970s were met by vigorous state house construction in new suburbs on the urban fringes. While higher density in the inner city can encourage cycling and walking, expanded urban limits are invariably car-centric.
Urban sprawl provides a legacy of older suburbs left behind in need of "repair". As well as outlining the case against urban sprawl, Galina Tachieva's Sprawl repair manual provides a retrofitting toolbox. Topics of this book range from converting under-utilised shopping centres into public transport hubs, to subdivision of excessively large individual properties to include higher density housing and community gardens. Nevertheless, retrofitting is often contentious. The Island Bay cycleway in Wellington is an excellent example, with removal of on-street carparking driving local angst.
In principle, the district plan review process provided for under the Local Government Act gives advocates the chance to influence the shape of development for their town or city. Sadly, this process is typically dominated by entrenched sector groups and their lawyers. Advocates are then left to confront developments as they occur. This issue is not unique to New Zealand, so some useful resources are available from the likes of American NCBW and the Australian Bicycle Network . Toolboxes from these and other organisations allow community advocates to assess both existing suburbs and suburbs at the planning stage. There are obvious synergies between cycling advocates and social justice organisations, residents groups, and other transport sector groups. These alliances will ideally engage at the district plan review stage, as well as the consenting of individual developments and the implementation of repair measures to existing suburbs.
Some American case studies demonstrating the issues (and potential solutions) around sprawl:
- International City/County Management Assocation Why smart growth - a primer (Smart Growth Network)
The essential components of a city that caters for all of its inhabitants:
- Susan S. Fainstein The just city (Cornell University Press, 2010)
The features of liveable urban spaces:
- Jan Gehl Cities for people (Island Press, 2010)