The Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown announced sweeping changes to the unitary plan for Auckland, made in response to widespread opposition to the plan to build high density high-rise apartments in many areas of Auckland.
“We have taken on board the reasonable objections of those who say that the proposed high density housing will be an eyesore and will detract from the beauty of the city. We want Auckland to be the most liveable and sought after city in the world, so we have gone for a more radical approach to urban intensification.
“Following on from our plan to build the rail loop underground, we thought “why not build it all underground?”. We have, therefore, embarked upon a plan of extraordinary vision and ambition and decided to build high density housing underground rather than above.
“There are many underground parking garages that will be completely redundant after the construction of the rail loop. These will be easily converted into underground housing complexes, thus satisfying our most urgent housing needs. New apartment blocks will have a single upper story and can be built down as far as the owner wishes, as long as they meet the building specifications we will set out, particularly the specifications for ventilation.
“Underground housing complexes will be connected by tube rail, extending the rail loop and ensuring that people can get around easily without cars and without having to come out onto the surface all the time. This is especially important because studies have shown that people who live underground tend to develop agoraphobia and travel on the surface may become traumatic for them.
“The beauty of the new plan is that, as it progresses, there will be less people above ground and, gradually, parts of Auckland can be reclaimed for parkland. In the far future, it may be that all of Auckland will be one vast park. We estimate the cost of surface housing in Auckland will rapidly escalate out of reach of all but the most wealthy, leaving few people on the surface and preserving the natural beauty of these parklands.
“The rest of the population of Auckland will rapidly adapt to their new living environment developing pale skin, stooped shoulders and a fear of light.
Mayor Brown said that “Project Morlock”, as the new unitary plan had been nicknamed, would be implemented over the next 800,000 years starting in 2014 with the conversion of the car parks. When questioned about the logistics of feeding such a large underground population, Mayor Brown grew evasive and muttered “I don’t think the protein requirements of the underground people will be a problem”.