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Home and Building, Volume 18 Number 1 (June 1955)

Curved Roads

Curved Roads

It is the roads which determine the pattern of a town, the shapes of the sections, whether the town will be a monotonous grid of right-angled streets or one of curves and differing angles, says Mr. Sanderson. Where contours permit, most New Zealand towns have been set out on the right-angled or chessboard pattern. Modern planners have adopted a much more interesting street system by the introduction of curved roads which permit of differing views of buildings and vistas not possible with the rectangular system.

The use to which land is put is one of the most important aspects of planning. For example, in New Zealand our national economy is based largely on our farm lands and these must obviously be preserved if our present type of economy is to prevail.

Through lack of effective planning and control much of our farmland and land used for market gardening is being swallowed up by urban development — the so-called urban sprawl so familiar round Auckland. It has been calculated that if our present rate of growth continues in the same manner as in the past, namely, single-unit houses standing on their own plot of land, much of our farmland will be absorbed into residential areas and the country's production capacity reduced accordingly. It is obvious that some sort of plan is necessary and it is here that the experienced planner can help us.

The time is long overdue for the preparation of a detailed national plan, showing the use of all land throughout the country and into which all the local town-planning schemes may fit.

But in the areas already built up and which have not been adequately planned the planner's task is much more difficult. Some of the major problems are created by the enormous increase in the use of motor vehicles, traffic flow and car parking. Costly schemes have to be undertaken to facilitate the flow of traffic by redesigning bad intersections, widening roads and providing alternative routes, and we all help to pay for it.

It is the costly mistakes which the planner today seeks to eliminate by a

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study of all the known facts to produce a solution which will function efficiently.