My first impression on reading through it: a city that looked like the one they're projecting would be a nice place to live.
My second impression on reading through it: there are outcomes that can be achieved through evolved distributed processes that cannot be achieved through direction.
The end goal they're seeking is laudable: a vibrant city core that would be a great place to live and a great place to work. But boy, some of the ways of getting from here to there. A few things that made me cough:
- Restrictions on development in the suburbs for the next five years to encourage investment in the core instead.
- Designated retail and other precincts that cannot but ride pretty roughshod over the wishes of existing property owners.
- Building height restrictions downtown that are conditional on Green Building certification; a thousand "Green Star" or "Green Light" buildings as a target. Financial incentives for roof-top gardens.
- Dedicated light rail running from downtown to the University, with plans for a broader light rail network. Projected total system construction cost $1.8 billion plus ongoing running costs.
- Flipping St.Asaph/Lichfield from one-way to two-way will eliminate a really effective east-west thoroughfare. If bus and rail uptake are less than planners expect, congestion along Moorhouse, Bealey and Brougham will substantially be worsened. Flipping to mass transit just isn't a great option for folks with multi-destination trips.
There's a lot of nice stuff in the proposal too. But the whole thing still has rather more of a SimCity feel to it than I'm comfortable with.