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Auckland urban design panel boosts reputation of Auckland

Auckland urban design panel boosts reputation of Auckland as a design-led city

The success of Auckland Council’s urban design panel and its influence on the internationally acclaimed design quality of many recent major developments in the city is celebrated in a stunning new book to be launched tonight (Tuesday, 28 October 2014).

Established in 2003 by Auckland City Council in conjunction with The Property Council of NZ in direct response to the need to commit to better urban design standards, the panel is an independent body of design and development professionals nominated by the Property Council of NZ, the New Zealand Institute of Architects, the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects and the New Zealand Planning Institute.

The panel critiques and offers free advice to applicants on significant development proposals prior to them being lodged with the council.

The concept was replicated among other councils in New Zealand and its story is captured in words and striking images in the book Inter-view: The contribution of urban design panels to Auckland’s urban story.

Covering the panel’s work over the past decade, the book has been penned by over 50 contributors including local designers, developers and decision-makers Pip Cheshire, Councillor Chris Darby, Mike Geale, Rau Hoskins, Richard Naish and Tania Wong among others. It also includes commentary from international design experts Hank Dittmar (former chairman of the Congress for the New Urbanism, executive director of the Surface Transportation Policy Project and President of Reconnecting America) and Brent Toderian (former chief planner of Vancouver).

Among other examples, the book celebrates the high quality design of city shaping projects as Britomart, Hobsonville Point, Hurstmere Green, Imperial Buildings, Ironbank, The Isaac, Manukau Tertiary Centre, the Merchant Quarter, 80 Queen Street and the Waterview Connection.

Auckland Council’s urban design champion Ludo Campbell-Reid said: “In recent years we have witnessed a growing confidence and trust in the Auckland development industry and an upsurgence in Aucklanders’ pride in the quality of their ‘new urban experience’.

“We have undergone a design-led urban renaissance and have witnessed a birth of what could be described as ‘the new kiwi urbanism’. The Auckland Urban Design Panel, the professional institutes and its talented designers, architects, planners and development specialist members, have been right in the thick of the action.”

The book will be launched at a function on tonight at 1885 Britomart. It is published by Beatnik Publishers and is available by request to urbandesignpanel@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.


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