Covid-19 is changing everything.


Overnight when Covid-19 Level Four came into effect, the commuter model where people drive all over Auckland, was discredited . The vulnerability of our economic system was laid bare. Self-contained communities that can seal themselves off by closing a single gate make a lot more sense.

We will need to kick start projects to get people back to work, to get liquidity back into the economy. But what projects? Do we continue with failed models? Minister of Finance, Grant Roberson says no: "Robertson already has groups burrowing away within the public sector looking at both clean energy initiatives and the housing market, saying that the Government will be "looking at the kind of industry development model, you know, what do we do so that we don't repeat previous mistakes." We may find expat Kiwis want to come home. Come home to what? Come home to a Market Town.

The Market Town development model is an answer. It ticks many boxes - including boxes that were not on anyone's priority list before Covid-19 dismantled everything. Some aspects of the MarketTown will be less important - like the visitor economy. Others become paramount, like the Local-to-Global business base. This large and detailed web site compiles best practice from around the world. For the short form, watch the video:



Question: Why in NZ do we build new developments that generate ten vehicle movements per day per household?

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If we are serious about reducing greenhouse gasses the easiest way to do this is to eliminate the need to drive.


This is the main street in Verona, Italy. No cars. Everyone walks. It's extremely social as people stop to talk to each other. 


This is the car-free piazza of Forli. This conversation ran for over half an hour, as "commuters" walked up & joined in.

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This is what happens when people live and work in car-free towns. They connect face-to-face without an appointment.


This next picture was taken in Soller, Spain. They built a level play area for the children next to the village cafes.

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It's brilliant, yet simple. Adults sit on the sides and talk. The children were well behaved, no bullying or crying.

And no adventure playground. Instead bikes, balls, lots of running, laughing & playing... and interacting with adults.


What about young adults - do we build places for them? They do in this town in Spain. It had a great buzz about it.


This happens because the local economy provides walk-to jobs. The people don't burn their wages on commuting


Living becomes an art form. Daily shopping is a delight. If the town has its own food supply it costs less for better food



When the towns are car-free, the arts have a stage to flourish and people literally are dancing in the streets.

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Something else wonderful happens - the old and the young live in the same place, and they connect with each other.

Wheel2WheelAll of this can be found in timeless towns - mostly in old Europe that are car-free. The streets belong to people not cars.


Question: Do you know how children learned, long before schools were invented? Do you know what play is about?

FamilyW 1057Children learn by being exposed to adult role models. They are hard-wired to do so. So why do we segregate them?

Why do we place them in isolated day care, then on school campuses where they have no adult role models for 16 years?

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There is a better way. Build storefront classrooms on village plazas. Costs less, children learn from role models how to become adults



Question: Why do we build new bedroom communities when the credit to build roads to move new traffic is maxed out?


Why don't we build towns where all day-to-day destinations are within walking distance?

PlazaLifeIt costs less, it pollutes less, it is socially supporting and culturally enriched. So why don't we do it?



Question: Why build new bedroom communities when councils lack money to supply water & sewer pipes?

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With a critical mass of 5-10,000 people we can harvest rainwater, process wastewater and have a solar array


This looks like a greenhouse, but in fact it is a greenhouse sewage treatment plant for the town of Weston USA


None of these ideas are new. They are timeless, and there is proven technology that can be brought to NZ.



 Question: Does terraced housing really make for a complete, wonderful community? Can we do better?

Terraced Housing

Of course we can... and it does not need to cost more, it is done by involving the settlers before the plan is locked in place

This car-free town in Italy has commercial space on the ground floor, and creative living space above. These are places people love.

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To do this, all we need is a better Development Pattern


Introducing the Market Town:   Move destinations not people: home, work, school, shop, play: all within walking distance.



Clean, Safe: Car-free urban core, eliminate the need to drive, make streets safer, quieter, human-scaled.



Affordable:   Cut cost of land & consent, factory-built homes, 25% parallel market for key-worker homes.



Self-supporting: Plan for a local economy built on fibre-optic technology, attract head-of-household jobs.

Working On Line


Local Utilities: Innovative approach to public utilities and road use to eliminate the need for govt funding.

PV panels


Socially enriched:  People need more than bedroom housing development. Design for high quality of life.



Culturally enriched: People need more than social networks & passive entertainment. Invest in creativity.

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 Do it now: Enable people & communities to provide for their wellbeing. Let's use Kainga Ora to make it happen. 

Pedestrian Market Town


Sometimes the best ideas are not new but timeless; they come around again when technology changes.


The idea of a car-free, no-commuter town of about 10,000 people where everything is within walking distance is attractive.

Economically self-supporting, self-contained, socially & culturally enriched, a complete not elite community. Sound good?

Want more?  Everything is within. No driving to work, shops, schools. Eliminate the need to drive. Cut your cost of living.

Safe for children to play in the streets. Old folks need not move away when they stop driving. It's village life like old Europe. 

It's a 100ha Urban Core surrounded by a 100ha Greenbelt. It manages its own water, sewer, power, roads and social services.

What makes it possible? The technology revolution. Especially ultra-fast fibre-optic broadband.

Where once NZ was remote, now with ultra-fast fibre, businesses can be everywhere, simultaneously.


 Want to learn more? Read on... there are a lot of good ideas drawn from proven, timeless models from all over the world.


How to build a strong local economy

Preserve and protect your money. Establish and support an environment that fosters local wealth.


Move destinations not people. Home, work, schools, shops, play: walk to all. Cut cost of living by 15%.


Focus on attracting head-of-household jobs with 20% global income, 80% recirculating that money locally.

How to build affordable housing

Lower the cost of land per unit


Lower the cost of construction using technology


Lower the cost of permissions and consultants