The Motu Public Policy Seminar series provides a forum for informed debate on important public policy issues. 

Our seminars are accessible to a wide audience, and are attended by people from diverse backgrounds who want to stay informed on economic, social and public policy research. The seminars are presented by the Motu Senior Fellows and Affiliates, as well as other top visiting academics from within New Zealand or around the world.

Triumph of the high-amenity city? Analysing urban development in New Zealand

Stuart Donovan2Speaker: Stuart Donovan, Researcher, Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge
Details: 5-6.30pm, Thursday 3 October, Room 105-029, Clock Tower Building, University of Auckland, 22 Princes St, Auckland CBD

Around the world urbanisation continues apace, giving rise to new policy opportunities and challenges. In this talk, Stuart will present the results of ongoing Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities research into urban development in New Zealand. This research is overseen by Arthur Grimes and Dave Maré from Motu. By adapting and applying spatial economic models of location choice, Stuart will discuss how urban development benefits both firms and households in New Zealand using a unique data set that tracks economic outcomes in 130 cities and towns over almost 40 years. Preliminary results suggest firms and households both benefit from strong urban agglomeration economies. For firms, these benefits appear to be linked to the local pool of highly-skilled workers, whereas local and regional scale offers benefits to households. Evidence indicates that New Zealand households place a high value on natural amenities, such as climate and recreation. To finish, Stuart will reflect on implications for policy settings and opportunities for further research.

Seminar sponsored by Te Pūnaha Matatini and Veitch Lister Consulting.

Bio: Stuart is currently studying towards a PhD at the Department of Spatial Economics at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, where he is supervised by Henri L. F. de Groot. Stuart's research interests include spatial, transport, and urban economics; transport and land use policy; and urban agglomeration economies. When not travelling for work or study, Stuart resides in Brisbane with his family and a motley collection of animals.

Previous Seminars

You can find slides (and sometimes audio) from previous Public Policy Seminars here.

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The seminars are free to the public, and there is no need to register to attend. You can sign up here to receive email invitations to either our Wellington or Auckland seminars.

Our Public Policy Seminar Series is generously sponsored by Statistics New Zealand.