Urban Environment

  • Chris R. de Freitas
  • Martin Perry


This chapter raises questions about the impact of urbanisation on the state of the environment. The concentration of the population in urban centres and especially the Auckland region is generally seen to benefit economic development. This perception explains a lack of policy interest in redistributing population away from where it continues to concentrate. Little is known about how the incidence of and capacity to manage environmental issues might be affected by the distribution of population. In the past it has been argued that urban authorities have not had the legislative power to address environmental sustainability. The Local Government Act 2002 and possible reforms of the Resource Management Act provide more scope for councils to consider environment issues in their long term planning. The environmental values of New Zealanders continue to indicate that addressing economic well being is considered more important than improving the state of the environment. The population density of New Zealand cities is low compared with cities in Europe. There are potential environmental costs and benefits from increasing urban density.

Key Concepts and Terms

Green buildings Long Term Council Community Plans Population distribution Productivity Quality of Life Recycling Social capital Spatial planning Urban consolidation Urban density Waste Zero Waste 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris R. de Freitas
    • 1
  • Martin Perry
    • 2
  1. 1.School of EnvironmentUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.School of ManagementMassey University (Wellington)WellingtonNew Zealand

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