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Designing a better urban future for New Zealand

6 August 2004

Designing a better urban future for New Zealand

A draft protocol to improve the quality of our urban environments is now available for public consultation, Environment Minister Marian Hobbs, Minister with Responsibility for Urban Affairs, announced today.

"The Draft New Zealand Urban Design Protocol is a national commitment to improving the liveability and quality of urban design in our towns and cities," Marian Hobbs said.

The protocol was developed by the Ministry for the Environment and an urban design advisory group of central and local government representatives, private developers, professionals and educational institutes. Submissions close on 30 September 2004.

"New Zealand is more urban than ever – 87 percent of us now live in urban areas, one of the highest proportions in the world," Marian Hobbs said. "The protocol is a long-term commitment to ensure that New Zealand continues to have successful towns and cities that contribute to our national economy and our quality of life.

"The release of the draft allows everyone to have a say in creating places that work for people and to proclaim New Zealand's urban future through quality design. "The protocol is intended to be non-statutory and voluntary but the government will lead by example, ensuring that quality urban design becomes better embedded in the decision-making processes of all government departments and crown entities. They will commit to the protocol by developing, monitoring and supporting a set of actions specific to their organisation.

"The protocol will increase awareness of urban design and demonstrate its economic, environmental and social value. It aims to encourage partnerships between central and local government, the private sector and design professionals."

A range of resources is also being developed to support the protocol, including case studies of successful urban design throughout New Zealand, an urban design toolkit and a 'show case' of the economic, environmental and social benefits of quality urban design. Marian Hobbs said the protocol is an important component of the government’s Sustainable Development Programme of Action and is a key result for the "Sustainable Cities" section, which seeks to make our cities healthy, safe and attractive places where business, social and cultural life can flourish.

A copy of the draft protocol and an electronic feedback form is available on the Ministry for the Environment website: www.mfe.govt.nz/publications/urban/draft-protocol-aug04/index.html

ENDS

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