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Neighbourhoods dominated by the car, without a mix of uses and housing types, tend to lack both diversity and a sense of community. They consign those who drive to endless shuttle trips, and those who don’t — the young and old — to dangerous and unpleasant attempts to cross busy streets. They create sprawl and inefficient forms of infrastructure.
In human-scale neighbourhoods, a wide mix of housing types is clustered around one or more well-defined neighbourhood centres which support jobs, commercial activity, and a range of amenities. The neighbourhood is scaled to the pedestrian, offering sufficient variety within a five to fifteen minute walk — a quarter to half mile — to sustain lively streets and gathering places. It offers a gradient of density, from open spaces to highdensity commercial cores. The layout of pathways, streets, and transportation corridors minimizes conflict between walking, biking, and driving, and provides effective and affordable transit access to other neighbourhoods and regional centres.
Neighbourhoods are the most significant building blocks of compact towns and cities. Their physical design can greatly enhance community and civic society, and their spectrum of jobs and housing types can support social equity. Without vibrant neighbourhoods, towns and cities are split into singleuse zones — housing here, retail and office there, manufacturing at the margins — which each lose their character. Emerging materials cycles and green building techniques make it possible to create neighbourhoods with a vibrant mix of residential, retail, office, and lightindustrial land-uses which are free of water, soil, or air contamination.
Such a mix of land-uses, combined with decentralized renewable energy production, pockets of agriculture, resource efficiency, and participation in the urban ecological infrastructure can help support diverse local economies.
Auckland Neighbourhoods— Ponsonby/Herne Bay are perfect examples of human-scale neighbourhoods.
According to Frommers, Ponsonby/Herne Bay -- are quintessential Auckland -- bold, brazen, bohemian. It’s where most of the best restaurants, bars, and cafes are; it’s where the nouveau riche and the almost famous hang out; and you’ll find some exquisite specialty shops and lots of divine old wooden houses. Some lovely B&Bs are here, and you won’t need a car to have fun. Just off Ponsonby Road is Karangahape Road, famous for everything from off-the-wall nightclubs and sassy restaurants to ethnic stores and the whole gamut of sex shops, massage parlors, tattoo and body-piercing studios, and strip joints.