Sustainability and climate change initiatives weren’t the headline features of Tauranga City Council’s 2021-31 Long Term Plan, but if you look a bit deeper, many of our planned investments are designed to have significant long-term benefits in these key areas.
For example, the $1.9 billion we will be spending on transport over the next 10 years is not just focused on making it easier for vehicles to move around the city.
In Tauranga, we currently generate 5.9 tonnes of carbon emissions per person and around 60 per cent of our total emissions are related to road transport.
The Urban Form and Transport Initiative and Western Bay Transport System Plan, which our LTP work programme feeds into, aim to reduce net emissions to zero by 2050.
And in the shorter term, the sub-regional transport initiatives we’re undertaking with our SmartGrowth partners are expected to reduce ‘tailpipe emissions’ by up to 50 per cent by 2030.
Achieving those targets relies partly on the success of the public transport and cycle and walkway improvements built-in to most of our major projects, the intent of which is to encourage more people to use alternative transport modes.
Both aspects are key features of the Futureproofing Cameron Road project, which will be getting underway soon, with peak commute-time bus clearway lanes improving the efficiency of public transport services and a separated cycleway making it easier and safer for cyclists to travel to and from the CBD.
Aligned with the transport initiatives, proposed Plan Change 26 will provide opportunities for more compact housing types near to community gathering and employment centres.
This should mean less need for cross-city travel and vehicle use, as well as improved access to public transport routes.
Our new kerbside waste collection services also offer some important sustainability gains – more on that in a future column.