Through Let’s Get Wellington Moving, the District Plan, and the Bike Network Plan, implementing the right transport and housing package for Wellington will ensure that everyone has access to affordable, quality housing along active and public transport routes that reduce emissions and connect our city.
Decisions about transport and urban planning are deeply interlinked, not just with each other, but with protection of the climate, increasing affordable housing, and improving quality of life.
Today’s transport challenges are no longer about making it easier for more and more people to drive through the heart of our city. With the twin crises of climate change and the housing crisis at our doorstep, the decisions made now have to be about urgently tackling these massive challenges.
Option 4 presents the best opportunity to tackle these challenges together.
Light rail to Island Bay along Taranaki St is crucial for enabling 21,000 more homes in Wellington and providing a high-capacity high-frequency low-carbon alternative to car travel for people to get around our city, along with bus priority to the east.
Other proposals for new tunnelling at the Basin Reserve are unnecessary and expensive, both in time and money. Option four is the lowest cost and the fastest to deliver, meaning we can get action taken on the urgent climate and housing crises sooner. LGWM is proving to be a long process, and the climate and housing crises can’t afford for us to waste any more time. Any possible effort to speed up completion of LGWM should be made.
The ambitious Spatial Plan passed by Wellington City Council was a huge win for everyone impacted by the housing crisis in Wellington, but now we have to ensure that the District Plan delivers the full potential of the Spatial Plan, and goes even further to enable a range of housing types, to decolonise our city, and to ensure there are accessible housing options.
The District Plan is the rulebook for the quantity and quality of homes we can build. The previous District Plan prioritised the interests of existing homeowners, landlords, and property speculators over the interests of renters, first home buyers, and everyone else experiencing the impacts of the housing crisis.We want a District Plan that enables tens of thousands more quality homes to address our dire housing shortage. Our new housing rulebook should celebrate welcoming people into homes that are functional, affordable, diverse, and liveable - and avoiding prescriptive and arbitrary requirements that have made so many kinds of housing illegal and unachievable.
The District Plan should work to decolonise our city, recognising the tino rangatiratanga of mana whenua, ensuring strong environmental protections, and enabling indigenous housing models such as papakāinga.
The District Plan must also recognise the crisis within the housing crisis: the dire shortage of accessible housing. The District Plan must do everything it can to ensure as much new housing as possible is accessible and implements Universal Design principles.
We strongly support the Council’s plan for a 147km bike network. Alongside LGWM, this plan will ensure more people can get around our city safely, sustainably, and conveniently, without contributing to the city’s high transport emissions.
Creating space for people to bike, whether to work, to school, to go out for brunch, or shopping, is essential infrastructure for enabling more people to move around our city while contributing to the livability of our streets, and the climate.
The Bike Network Plan is a very welcome development from Wellington City Council, but it could go even further. The plan should also aim to create low-traffic neighbourhoods right across our city. While the bike network will greatly improve connections to the central city and between suburbs, we also need biking to be comfortable within neighbourhoods and suburbs.
For biking to be taken up as transport by more people, we need local streets to be comfortable and attractive for people - especially children and disabled people - moving about in their own neighbourhoods. Low-traffic neighbourhoods also make walking a more attractive option, and improves quality of life for residents.
While the mass transit construction will be a major construction effort, space for biking can be much more adaptable and quick to deliver. Space for people on bikes could support a faster transition to climate-friendly mobility while waiting for the larger projects.
A City For People
Generation Zero, Cycle Wellington, Renters United, and others, will be campaigning for as many people as possible to submit on these three transformational plans for our city over the next six weeks, supporting our elected representatives to implement ambitious plans that deliver for people and the planet.
We can have a city with abundant, affordable, quality, and accessible housing, in thriving communities full of green space and native bush, served by high-capacity, frequent, and sustainable light rail and buses, and connected by a network of safe bike routes. There is massive opportunity within these three plans, and it’s crucial that Wellington City fully embraces this opportunity at this critical moment.
A City For People is a coalition of Generation Zero, Cycle Wellington, Renters United, and others who have joined forces to campaign on their shared vision for the future of housing and transport in Wellington City as the mega-consultation on LGWM, the District Plan, and the Bike Network Plan begins.
Media Contact: Asia Brownlie [email protected] 027 842 8003