Category Archives: Sustainability

Nawton/Grandview census area bright spot

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The area between Avalon Dr and Vernall St, which Statistics NZ calls Mesh block 090720 has much of the diversity advocated for by Jane Jacob.

Jane Jacob’s book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, advocates for “four generators of diversity” that “create effective economic pools of use”:

  1. Mixed primary uses, activating streets at different times of the day
  2. Short blocks, allowing high pedestrian permeability
  3. Buildings of various ages and states of repair
  4. Density – Mesh block 090720 = 2,730 people per km sq (a bit low by NY standards)

Nawton Mesh block 090720The people living in the area bounded by Avalon Dr, Grandview Rd, Vernall St and Livingstone Ave are within half a kilometre of most day-to-day services that the average person would need. If we extend this living radius to a nominal one kilometre, these households have a 20 minute walk to access schooling at every level and services of almost every type.

In the lowest part of the Unit areas images (for area maps see StatsMaps) we have two areas at the bottom of Western Heights that are showing the opposite type of change from the more diverse areas, which are closer to services. The outcome of this increasing “sameness” is that the area is not attracting increasing numbers of residents. The median age of the people left in these areas was about 10 years old than Hamilton’s overall median in 2001, and now the 2013 census show them closer to 15 years older. In addition, while the median income was $8,800 to $13,100 above the Hamilton median in 2001, this has now declined to $7,600 to $8,100 in 2013.

Nawton Grandview Pop Change 01-13 Nawton Grandview Age Change 01-13 Nawton Grandview Income Change 01-13

Looking at mesh block 090720, Location (close to schools), Location (close to services), Location (close to main transport corridor) and the presence of mature street trees, all help to create bright places like Livingstone St

Livingstone Ave

Maeroa Local Retail

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On Maeroa Rd we have two dairies almost next to each other, competing for the same customers in what looks like an under-sized market place – but they survive.

Maeroa Shops roundabout

Here is an explanation from the Canadian convenience store report 2012 on why these almost side-by-side dairies can keep trading in such close proximity

“In many cases, convenience stores enjoy such strong relationships with their customers that patrons will buy certain goods from one and only one store. It is estimated that approximately 20% of all convenience store patrons are 100% loyal to a single store, and 30% to 60% of customers visit that store four times or more per month. In any other industry, with such outstanding statistics, we would call these stores iconic brands and put them on a par with the Starbucks, Apple and McDonald’s of the world.”

Maeroa Local Retail

What we see in Maeroa is a pre-1960s City of Hamilton District Scheme suburb, with a similar balanced spread of local retail to that seen in my earlier posts, Swarbrick – Land use & Swarbrick – Local dairies. The question leaders should start ask themselves is this: Is it time to start pulling back in terms of controlled planning and allow customers convenience determine the location of retail outlets?