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Better towns and cities aim of urban design

23 February 2006

Better towns and cities aim of urban design toolkit

A 'toolkit' to help urban design professionals improve the way our towns and cities look and work was launched today by Environment Minister David Benson-Pope.

The Urban Design Toolkit has been developed by the Ministry for the Environment as a web-based resource to enable the design professions to share information, learn from each other and stay on top of new trends.

The toolkit has been developed as part of the New Zealand Urban Design Protocol. The Protocol is a voluntary cross-sector commitment by a range of professions and agencies to making New Zealand towns and cities more successful through quality urban design. There are more than 107 signatories so far including architects, designers, developers, consultants, central and local government, professional and educational institutes, and sector organisations.

“It is important that everyone in the sector understands the variety of urban design tools available," said Mr Benson-Pope. "It is also important they have guidance, and a common vocabulary to enhance dialogue when working on urban design projects.”

The Urban Design Toolkit has five sections reflecting the life-cycle stages of most urban design projects:

- Research and Analysis Tools – for understanding the urban context
- Community Participation Tools – for encouraging community involvement and informing initiatives
- Raising Awareness Tools – for increasing understanding of urban design
- Planning and Design Tools – for describing intended design outcomes
- Implementation Tools – for establishing processes and organising people and resources

“This is a valuable resource for everyone involved in urban design. With over 150 tools and over 240 direct web links, there is a vast amount of useful information,” Mr Benson-Pope said.

The Urban Design Toolkit is on the Ministry for the Environment website at


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