Category Archives: Environment

Hamilton’s city central size compared


Page 14 CCTP “Hamilton’s central city footprint is significantly larger when compared to most with populations our size or bigger including the new central city planned for Christchurch”

Interestingly, the only comparison seems to be with “40 hectares Christchurch Central City Size” (p.9) which is a quarter of its pre-earthquake size. So before this post benchmarks Central city size, we should try to understand the change in size in Christchurch.

The first reference to central Christchurch being too large comes from the Recovery Blueprint over a 100 day period.

In just a few months a handpicked team of urban design experts created a bold plan that slashes Christchurch’s CBD area from 160 hectares to 42 hectares” Press – Plan will change the face of Christchurch.

In the plan, page 46 states “The right size – Historically the central city commercial area has been too large, with variable building quality and occupancy. A compact Core provides better outcomes” Herald – Christchurch Central recovery plan

Looking at “better outcomes” The Ernst & Young “CERA Christchurch Central City Commercial Property Market Study” CERA christchurch central city commercial property market study

Interestingly, “too large” does not get a mention in the following earlier plans.

Central City Plan for Ministerial Approval – Dec 2011 CCC Central City Plan or Christchurch 2009 Public space Public Life – Gehl Architects – Christchurch 2009 – PSPL – Gehl – page 23


For a historical reference, The Culture of Cities, by Lewis Mumford, states on page58, Chapter 10, ‘Control of Growth and Expansion’ that “At its widest, no medieval town usually extended more than half a mile [804m, 10 minute walk] from its centre (200 hectares).”

Here the 2012 Hamilton City Centre Local Area Plan – page 12, gives us a view of what it looks like. Hamilton Central City Local Area Plan

Now, from the 1950s, Raymond E. Murphy’s book, Central Business District, is a study of CBDs in 9 American cities with average populations of 196,000 (p.34). On page 43 Murphy tells us the average ground extent of the nine cities was 115.9 acres [47 hectares], ranging from Worcester MA at 87.1 acres [35 hectares] to 189.4 acres [76 hectares]

Interestingly, Baron Haussmann’s Paris and Inner London are not small city centres.

Maybe a great city centre is large and a good CBD is small. Here is list of CBDs and Central City sizes.

City Centre Size
City City Pop City Centre Source
Worcester. MA (1950-60) US 186,587 35 Central Business District: R.Murhy
Christchurch post EQ NZ 341,469 40 Cera
CBD Study 9 cities US 196,000 47 Central Business District: R.Murhy
Tulsa. OK (1950-60) US 261,685 55 Central Business District: R.Murhy
San Francisco – Fisherman’s Whark US 7,000,000 65 From Seattle Report
Sacramento. CA (1950-60) US 191,667 76 Central Business District: R.Murhy
Salt Lake City (1950-60) US 189,454 77 Central Business District: R.Murhy
Mobile. AL (1950-60) US 202,452 84 Central Business District: R.Murhy
Odense DK 186,700 87 From Apeldoorn & Hobart Report
Copenhagen DK 1,150,000 115 From Perth, Seattle & Hobart Report
Rotterdam NL 624,799 115 From Apeldoorn Report & Wiki
Apeldoorn NL 155,300 120 Apeldoorn 2009 PSPL – Gehl – page 12
Perth AU 1,400,000 120 Perth 2009 PSPL – Gehl – page 13
Stockholm SE 1,900,000 125 From Sydeny Report
Launceston, Tasmania AU 65,000 128 From Hobart Report
Hamilton (2016) NZ 150,000 129 Hamilton Central City Transformation Plan p9
Hobart, Tasmania AU 200,000 134 Hobart 2010 PSPL – Gehl – page 11
Hamilton (2012) NZ 142,000 140 Hamilton Central City Local Area Plan 2012 p6
Adelaide AU 1,300,000 158 Adelaide 2011 PSPL – Gehl – page 9
Seattle US 3,424,000 161 Seattle 2009 PSPL – Gehl – page 17
Christchurch (2009) NZ 382,000 174 Christchurch 2009 – PSPL – Gehl – page 23
NY. Lower Manhattan US 19,000,000 185 From Seattle Report
Wellington (2004) NZ 179,100 216 Wellington 2004 PSPL – Gehl – page 4
Sydney AU 4,000,000 220 Sydney 2007 PSPL- Gehl -page18
Melbourne AU 3,500,000 230 From Peth, Adelaide & HobartReport
NY. Midtown US 19,000,000 397 From Istanbul Report
Wollongong. NSW AU 285,000 397 Wollongong PSPL – Gelh – page 17
Istanbul TR 12,000,000 504 Istanbul 2013 PSPL- Gehls – page 7
Chongqing/Yuzhong area 14,850,000 950 Chongqing PSPL – Gehl – page 12
Moscow RU 15,000,000 1970 Moscow PSPL – Gehl – page 4
NY South of central Park US 19,000,000 2280 From Moscow Report
Paris 1st-10th Arrondisements Fr 11,700,000 2330 From Moscow Report
London (Congestion charge zone) UK 7,800,000 2470 From Istanbul & Moscow Report

An Apology for the builder – Nicholas Barbon 1685– Page 10

“Gentlemen that fancy the city to be the head of the nation would but fancy it like the heart they would never be afraid of its growing too big”

Category: CBD, Economics, Environment, News

Maeroa Land use

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Maeroa is a pre-1960s City of Hamilton District Scheme (only 70 pages) suburb, similar to Swarbrick-Frankton land use. However, there is a difference in the approach of the Ministry of Education; in Swarbrick there are only primary schools and in Maeroa there is only an Intermediate school (1954). All other schooling is outside the area.

Maeroa Land Use

The map shows the balance in the spread of parks and retail opportunities, similar to Swarbrick-Frankton land use and Bryant (St Andrews) open space for more people

Reference map: Hamilton zoning map 1960s