Greenfield drivers: residential choice, transport, and the subjective experience of travel in the greenfield suburbs: a case study in Christchurch, New Zealand
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
Using greater Christchurch as a case study, this research seeks to understand the key drivers of residential choice of families with children who live in recently developed, low-density greenfield subdivisions. In particular, the research examines the role that transport-related implications play in families’ choice of residence and location. It also explores the lived experience of the quotidian travel of these households, and the intrinsic value of their time in the car. While the research is situated in one particular location, it is designed to gain an understanding of urban processes and residents’ experiences of these as applicable to broader settings. Concerns about the pernicious environmental, fiscal, and wellbeing effects of sprawling urban form have been growing over the past few decades, inciting many cities including Christchurch to start shifting planning policies to try and achieve greater intensification and a denser development pattern. The 2010/2011 Christchurch earthquake sequence and its destruction of thousands of homes however created huge pressure for housing development, the bulk of which is now occurring on greenfield sites on the peripheries of Christchurch City and its neighbouring towns. Drawing on the insights provided by a wide body of both qualitative and quantitative literature on residential choice, transport and urban form, and mobilities literature as a basis, this research is interested in the attraction of these growing neighbourhoods to families, and puts the focus firmly on the attitudes, values, motivations, decisions, and lived experience of those who live in the growing suburbs of Christchurch.