“Urban sprawl” is a term that has entered the vocabulary and has come to be used as an epithet.
That seems slightly odd as we are choosing to live in towns and cities in a world-leading way. There is no ‘escape to the country’ going on in New Zealand, more like an ‘escape from the country’.
New Zealand is now 88% urban, having moved from about 60% rural a century ago.
We have commissioned a series of visualizations from OpenGeo that show this for seven centres. These visualizations are based on the registering of titles at the house-lot size. The recording starts in 1870 almost 150 years ago so the span of urbanisation history is revealed here.
By David Chaston
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