Hamilton 2030 city of 200,000 people

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This is the first time Hamilton has planned for a population of 200,000 within a ten year time frame.

This is an update of the history of ‘Hamilton Population Projections’. In a previous post you can find a history of the Estimated Future Changes in population growth dating back to the 1960s. Below is an update of the graph from that post. Added are the 2018 census count and the 2021-31 Long-Term Plan (LTP) projection. What we can see is a number of past estimates fitting nicely between the actual and 2021-31 projected lines; the 2006-16 LTP (2016 estimation) and 2009-19 LTP (with a 2051 estimation) is pretty close to what is actually happening.

The next graph looks back to the 1950s. What we see here are the lines separating, showing the 2015-25 LTP (with a 2045 estimation) within these lines.

Part of the reason we have a housing crisis can be explained by the fact that population growth was underestimated in the 2012-21 LTP and the District Plan. It is the District Plan that suppressed land supply by reducing land zoned for Residential Intensification from 278ha (10% of the 1960s area) of Hamilton’s  total area down to 2% of the present area (208ha), allowing developers and land owners to play monopoly with the land supply at the expense of people new to the market.

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Hamilton Public Transport ranking 2001-2018

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Using Public Transport to travel to work? The trend is towards increased use. The ranking of the top 7 cities has not changed since the 2001 census and all are trending up. Hamilton is also trending up but dropped in ranking to below Queenstown in the 2018 Census. Tauranga, like Queenstown, has done well: starting from a low base, the percentage of people taking the bus  to work increased fourfold between 2001 and 2018.

Queenstown’s success is driven by the fact that ‘recent modelling has shown that the peak hour mode share for Public buses needs to rise to 22% by 2025 to allow Queenstown to grow without severe congestion’. (Public and Passenger Transport Facilities Indicative Business Case Nov 2017). Compare this to Hamilton’s target to ‘Increase the proportion of passenger transport journeys to work to 7%’.

I am not sure of the importance of the ‘105 annual trips per person’ stated above. Wellington had 73 trips* per person in 2006 with a mode share for public transport well above Hamilton’s target of 7%. Below is a snapshot from a 1968 study showing bus mode share at 6% and the table below that show trips per person at 58. *Access Hamilton 2010 passenger transport action plan page 11

Hamilton Transportation Study 1969: 711.7099334 HAM page 29
Hamilton transportation study review: July 1981. 711.709931151 HAM

Hamilton’s target of 7% mode share by bus is not ambitious compared to Queenstown’s target to ‘increase .. PT mode share in peak hour from 5% in 2018 to 22% in 2025 and 41% in 2045’. (Link p6)

Presently, access to the bus stops along some routes in Hamilton is extremely dangerous. As an example, along Ulster Street/Te Rapa road, there are gaps between safe pedestrian crossings of over 1 km and a disconnected footpath along the west side of Te Rapa road. Bus use in Hamilton is being suppressed by the low priority given to safe access to bus stops.

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