Making sense of potential growth and decline
Clients: Queenstown Lakes District Council, Tasman District Council
Problem: To plan for the future, you must have an idea of what the future holds.
Mission: To provide growth projections based on the best available data, using the most appropriate methods.
To plan responsibly for the future, you need to take a leap of faith envisioning what that future will look like. Much like crystal ball gazing, growth projections are an art, not a science. However, these absolutely key assumptions must be derived somehow by councils in order to pave the way for the delivery of services both now and in the future. When it comes to planning, one of the (sometimes multi-) million dollar questions is: What’s going to happen to our population numbers?
There’s a torrent of data available on the past movements and metrics of people, so how do we make the best use of this to predict future trends? There’s a continually changing legislative landscape, so how do we balance simplicity, sophistication, transparency, and accuracy? How do we build-in iterative improvements to growth projection models to ensure we are always using the best information available and that it’s used in a common manner?
These are some of the challenges we’ve recently worked through with Queenstown Lakes District Council and Tasman District Council to ensure the growth projections used as a basis for long-term strategic planning are well understood and well used by all council entities.
The outcomes of these recent reviews are a clear, and better understood set of growth projections. Are the projections perfect? No. Will they be proved correct? Only time will tell, however, we’re willing to bet our reputation that our clients are as well placed as possible to plan for the future.