Land Use Patterns in Auckland Notes for mr Cranston's 12geo Class

The following sections will explain some of the processes that influence the pattern of land use around Auckland. The location of land uses is influenced by the geographic concept of site advantage and aligns most closely with the Multiple Nuclei Urban Model suggested by Harris & Ullman in the 1960's.

These are the processes we will be investigating:

  • State Housing
  • Gentrification
  • Industrialisation
  • Agglomeration
  • Concentration of Commercial Activity
  • Residential intensification
  • Land reclamation
  • Decentralisation
  • Suburbanisation and urban sprawl
Low Cost Housing
Land Use: Low cost Housing
Process: Planned migration and state housing
Location: Glen Innes and Otara
Site Advantage: Originally a green fields site, close to government built factories and motorways

Some of the cheaper suburbs in Auckland include the state housing areas that the government built mainly in the 1950s and 60s. These areas provided low cost accommodation to people with low incomes.

These suburbs were located on the edge of the city at the time where land was cheap and plentiful and where unique ideas about social and urban design could be implemented.

Overtime, these areas have been surrounded by private housing and merged into the Auckland conurbation. Two well known state housing areas are Otara and Glen Innes.

In the 1950s and 1960s the government directly marketed New Zealand to people in the Pacific. This was done so the new factories would have enough workers.

These migrants were often housed in the state housing areas close to the factories. Around 70% of migrants to New Zealand live in Auckland.

Today, houses in these areas cost a lot of money compared to other places in New Zealand, but within Auckland they are still relatively affordable. The houses themselves lend themselves to gentrification as they were very well built and can adapted to modern tastes

Land Use: High Cost Housing
Process: Gentrification
Location: Ponsonby & Herne Bay
Site Advantage: Proximity to CBD, Beaches and Transport, Character buildings, vibrant cafe retail and entertainment scene

Some people like to be close to the city for decreased commuter time and increased access to facilities and entertainment.

This has led to people going into rundown areas or old warehouse areas and renovating (doing up) them. These often become expensive areas with a distinctive character.

In Ponsonby’s case, it is seen as a trendy area with a vibrant retail, cafe and nightclub scene.

Ponsonby and Herne Bay used to be less desirable areas prior to the 1960's and the areas small cottages provided relatively cheap housing for working-class families, especially those who had migrated to Auckland from the Pacific Islands.

Most of these colonial cottages have been renovated and extended to create high-value homes with relatively small gardens, perfect for busy urban professionals.

Properties in Ponsonby and Herne Bay are some of the most expensive, with most in the millions and many costing several million dollars.

Land Use: Industrial
Process: Industrialisation
Location: Penrose
Site Advantage: Narrow isthmus causes funnelling of transport links

One of Auckland's original and largest industrial areas is Penrose. It is located on the narrow neck of land (isthmus), between the Manukau Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf.

This area of land is only 500m wide, so the Main Trunk Line (railway) and the Southern Motorway are forced to run through it. There is also a small port facility at Onehunga.

Locating factories and warehouses near these transport links enable products and resources to be dispatched easily around the country. The government facilitated and concentrated industrial development at Penrose alongside the state housing areas of South Auckland.

Many major industrial corporations are located in Penrose, such as Fletcher Building, Toshiba, Tip-Top etc.

Land Use: Travel, Transport & Logistics
Process: Agglomeration
Location: Auckland Airport (Mangere)
Site Advantage: Proximity to airport and main road back to the CBD

Auckland Airport is the gateway to New Zealand for both passengers and freight. Many travel and transport related businesses have located near the airport to take advantage of the proximity to the airport and the passenger and cargo flows that it generates.

Travel businesses like rental car companies, motels, tourist attractions, retail and convenience food outlets line the streets near the international and domestic terminals to cater for the needs of the passengers who are arriving and departing, but also for the people that might be dropping them off or picking them up.

Other businesses have set up within a short taxi ride of the airport to cater for functions that draw people from around the country, e.g., business conferences and weddings.

Businesses that perform services for the aviation industry, e.g. plane maintenance, catering and cleaning are located on the airport grounds or close to it.

One of the best examples of agglomeration near the airport is the large number of logistics and delivery firms that have been established adjacent to George Bolt Memorial Drive. These business co-ordinate the global delivery of products, parcels and mail. Their location near the airport and along the main road back to the CBD speeds up processing and delivery of items.

Land Use: Commercial and Retail

Process: Concentration

Location: Central Business District (Queen Street)

Site Advantage: Historical centre beside port. Focus of transport networks. Enables business-to-business relationships and services

Land Use: Port of Auckland

Process: Land Reclamation

Location: Auckland Waterfront

Site Advantage: Deep water harbour, original site of Auckland, proximity to other countries north of NZ

Land Use: New Residential

Process: Suburbanisation and urban sprawl

Location: Botany Downs

Site Advantage: The edge or periphery offers 'green fields' site for new development. Distance from city centre both advantage and disadvantage

Since the 1990's, apartment living has become a popular option in Auckland. Many people like an urban lifestyle where they are close to their workplace, shopping and entertainment facilities. It is also a popular option for busy professional workers that do not want to spend leisure time maintaining a house or a garden.

Inner city apartments form the main type of accommodation for Auckland's tertiary students. Auckland University is in the heart of the city and most students live in rented apartments.

Altogether, around 20,000 people live permanently in the CBD. Facilities such as laundries, convenience stores and even a 'metro' supermarket cater for these people.

Apartments are a relatively affordable option compared to buying a full house and property close to the city.

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