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First independent urban design panel

MEDIA RELEASE

23 April 2003

Auckland City leads way with first
independent urban design panel

Aucklanders can look forward to expert urban design assessment of central city developments thanks to the creation of New Zealand’s first Urban Design Panel.

Auckland City Council’s new service offers developers the opportunity to consult with a team of independent urban planning experts before making formal applications. The panel, which will meet fortnightly, is initially focusing on developments in central Auckland, but it is hoped that in future the service will be used on all major Auckland city projects.

Convener of the panel, Professor John Hunt, says the principal benefit of the initiative to Aucklanders will be a better quality environment for people to work and live in. “We are looking forward to playing our part in creating a city which all Aucklanders can be proud of,” he adds. “We intend to be constructive in our dealings with developers and we are not going to be rigid arbiters of taste. But we do want to encourage developers to show some vision when it comes to their developments and take account of the bigger picture when putting forward applications.”

Councillor Juliet Yates, chairperson of the City Development Committee, says the aim of the panel is to encourage architectural excellence to be the hallmark of future developments in the city. “The council strives to ensure that buildings, structures, landscapes and public open spaces conform to very best in urban design and are harmonious with their surrounding environments,” said Councillor Yates. “Our new Urban Design Panel - the first of its kind in New Zealand - will have a key role to play in promoting the highest quality urban design environments in the centre of Auckland and will become an important, independent resource for both our city planners and developers.”

The initiative is being promoted in association with the New Zealand Institute of Architects and the Property Council New Zealand, which are both represented on the panel. Initially the panel will focus on developments located within established precinct areas of the City including High Street, Lorne Street and the Viaduct Harbour.

Further information about the panel members, their function and authority can be found at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/urbandesign


Ends

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