A Replicable Model

The MarketTown initiative is what the NZ Department of Internal Affairs calls a Social Enterprise. As such, its role is to pioneer a new model that can be replicated by the industry.

There are numerous land-bank holders in the Auckland region who will look with interest at the MarketTown model. Should it be viewed as competition?

No.

An explanation may be helpful:

When the research was conducted, one question asked why suburban development became so successful so rapidly - spreading all over America first, and then to many parts of the world. Of course, the suburban model has proved to have some drawbacks (limited sense of community, somewhat homogenous and contributes to congestion and pollution), but as a business model it was fabulously successful. In part, even though the name had not been invented at the time, it was "open source" real estate. The model was invented by William Levitt who went on to build Levittowns around America, but it was not patented, copyrighted or otherwise protected. Profits were made by meeting demand, not limiting the rights of others to replicate the model. Developers all over the world copied the model and made fortunes doing so.

The MarketTown plan presumes the same replication will happen, and because it is a social enterprise, that is OK. It is unlikely that a land-banker would take on a prototype MarketTown. However, once the first project is complete so that people can visit it, the Council has protocol in place, and the MarketTown itself offers replication services to the established firms in the region, it is hoped that the model will spread throughout.

As a social enterprise, the MarketTown Stewards will then move on to a new territory - in New Zealand or overseas, and replicate the process there. Each time, when done, they will encourage the existing companies in the business to consider adopting the model. If the model is proven, profitable, easier to implement with Council, sell faster, lower risk and produce a higher quality of life, this should not be a challenge.

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