Concerns for Auckland's disabled and elderly population being able to walk the length of a walkable catchment area were raised amongst intensification discussions.
Under governments National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) greater intensification is meant to be enabled in areas surrounding town centers or public transport stops, a walkable catchment area.
Around the City Center zone a walkable catchment area has been defined as 1,200 meters while other metropolitan centers have an 800 metre walkable catchment area.
At the Planning Committee meeting on June 30 Cr Desley Simpson said members of the public had approached her with concerns about how Auckland’s growing elderly population was factored into walkable catchments.
“What evidence do I have that this is developed with our elderly people in mind,” Simpson asked.
Plans and Places general manager John Duguid responded that walkable catchments were not based on making sure all elderly would be able to walk the distance. “They are generally based on how long an average person might walk but not based on what an elderly person might walk,” Duguid said.
Cr Christine Fletcher questioned Chair Chris Darby’s recommendation for staff to further analyse the suitability of walkable catchments. “Who is it suitable for? It is a bit ambiguous,” Fletcher said. “I just want to have the comfort in knowing the concerns of people, perhaps a bit belatedly, are being addressed.”
Chair Chris Darby said that the recommendation gave council staff plenty of room to explore further options.
Fletcher pressed for clearer staff direction but was told by Darby that the committee was moving on.
Auckland Council must publicly notify plan changes in line with the NPS-UD and Medium Density Residential Stards by August 20.