The Missing Middle Mystery: housing detectives on the case!

A housing crisis is a great time to ask “where are all those other types of housing?”


This is a great little video that unpacks why cities have the housing stock and “culture” and “character” we see today.

For the towns of Te Upoko o te Ika: high-rises and single-family detached homes, and the stuff in between is scarce as hens’ teeth.

Which is a shame because as we have these density debates, the anti-intensification scaremongering and genuine NIMBY fear is about TOWER BLOCKS where in reality what would accommodate people is all the middle stuff!

Vancouver is a great (and pretty extreme) illustrator of the case – enjoy!

About Here have great vids, worth a follow.

2 comments on “The Missing Middle Mystery: housing detectives on the case!”

  • houses are homes says:

    I think you’ll find there is a lot of support for intensifying with the ‘middle stuff’ in Wellington, the 3 storey infill that can fit into existing residential communities. It’s great to see you’re on the same page as people who you label in negative terms for saying 6+ storeys scattered through 1 and 2 storey neighbourhoods is not the best solution and not density done well.
    The real shame is continual use of terms like scaremongering and nimby to drive a polarizing wedge instead of engaging in honest and genuine debate about the best solutions to increasing housing.

  • Julienz says:

    Agree totally with “houses are homes” and Isabella that “what would accommodate people is all the middle stuff!” There is far more common ground than the debate to date has exposed.

    The DSP could have provided for three storey infill all through the outer suburbs where there are buses which get people where they want to go more quickly and effectively than the Johnsonville train. Infill could provide as much new housing as the very unattractive six storey solution in the limited catchments contemplated by the NPS-UD. Our councillors seem fixated with complying with the chapter and verse of the NPS rather than looking for realistic and achievable solutions for Wellington.

    One thing we could consider “pattern zoning” which is being trialled in Bryan,Texas. The city has four designs on file for its midtown area, which can be downloaded, remixed, customized, and deployed free of charge—permit included. The Tarikaka Street railway houses an an attractive precinct created under a similar scheme. We could consult and agree on what density done well might look like and make it easy to achieve.

    A clearly formulated draft spatial plan showing a more complete picture (schools, parks, medical centres, shops and other services) rather than a set of height limits would help. Some 3-D modelling would be fantastic. Most people have a lot of trouble envisaging change. We could benefit from much more effort to demonstrate how change in our environment might look. Our thought leaders need to take residents on the journey.

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