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City councils feature in new urban design guide

30 June 2008

City councils feature in new urban design guide

Environment Minister Trevor Mallard today released a new urban design guide featuring best practice case studies from nine local councils and developers in Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington, Kapiti and Hamilton.

"The case studies featuring in Urban Design Case Studies Local Government focus on good examples of local government and urban designer's achievements. They contain a variety of urban design strategies, plans and guidelines in a local government context and large-scale neighbourhood or master planned projects," Trevor Mallard told the Urban Design Protocol Symposium in Wellington today.

"The guide includes projects from the councils of Kapiti Coast, North Shore, Wellington City, Hamilton City, Greater Christchurch, and from Housing New Zealand Corporation.

"This new book is the second volume published by the Ministry for the Environment to help urban designers and local government. I would urge anyone needing assistance, guidance or inspiration in urban design to read this publication.

"The design of our towns and cities are crucial to assist New Zealand as we work towards becoming a truly sustainable nation. Quality urban design creates cities that are enjoyable to live in. They are more walk-able cities that have the added bonus of improving our health while also addressing global climate change by encouraging less traffic and focussing on eco-friendly and energy efficient building."

Trevor Mallard also told the symposium of the possible development of a National Policy Statement on Urban Design to give guidance and direction to local government in order to help them improve the quality of design in urban areas.

"The Ministry for the Environment will shortly be writing to relevant iwi authorities, individuals and organisations seeking comment and feedback on the potential scope of such a National Policy Statement as a first step in the process of its development," he said.

A summary of the case studies is attached. To read them in full see

Summary of the Urban Design Case Studies

Changing the Subdivision Code, Kapiti Coast District Council
This case study focuses on the policy and practices used by the Kapiti Coast District Council to change its Code for Subdivision Development. Changes were based on creating strong relationships with key stakeholders, reviewing and strengthening organisational processes, and strengthening legislative processes to produce the Subdivision and Development Principles and Requirements and a set of companion guidelines. Jade Garden is used as an example of how the Subdivision and Development Principles and Requirements and associated guidelines supports quality urban design outcomes on the Kapiti Coast.

Mixed Use Town Centres Design Guide, North Shore City Council
The Good Solutions Guide for Mixed Use Development in Town Centres is part of a suite of non-statutory design guides developed by North Shore City Council. The guide was developed to encourage choice and diversity in the North Shore and to provide local examples of well-designed mixed use developments. This case study outlines the rationale and process for developing the design guide and the way the Council is raising awareness of the guide.

Central Area Design Guide and Review, Wellington City Council
When the Resource Management Act was introduced in 1991, the statutory design guide approach in the Wellington District Plan was maintained and expanded because it was seen as a natural fit for the ‘effects-based’ planning regime introduced by the new legislation. This case study details the 2005 comprehensive review of the Central Area chapters of the Wellington District Plan (eventually notified as Plan Change 48). The review gave the Wellington City Council the opportunity to reassess and redesign the urban design controls that applied to the Central Area in light of recent development trends, changes in legislation, evolving case law and district plan and design guide effectiveness.

City Urban Design Strategy, Hamilton City Council
Hamilton City Council’s urban design strategy CityScope establishes a framework to guide Hamilton towards a sustainable, quality environment. The strategy provides a strategic and visionary urban design framework to inform and shape all aspects of the Council and community’s decision-making processes. This case study details the CityScope process, the relationship to the SMART subdivision demonstration project, and outlines the Council’s ongoing development of urban design tools and processes.

Urban Development Strategy, Greater Christchurch
The Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy is a broad-scale, long-term land use strategy for the greater Christchurch area prepared under the Local Government Act 2002. The strategy area encompasses eastern parts of the Waimakariri and Selwyn districts and the urban and some rural areas of Christchurch City, including the Lyttelton Harbour Basin. This case study outlines the process used to develop the strategy and the means of implementing it.
City Revitalisation, South of Lichfield, Christchurch
The South of Lichfield lanes revitalisation project has saved an historic part of Christchurch by finding new uses for old buildings and building on the existing urban form. The case study analyses the design issues and opportunities that have arisen from this project, including the reuse of historic commercial buildings, the use of public and private space and creating a diversity of uses.

Community Renewal, Housing New Zealand Corporation, Talbot Park, Auckland
Talbot Park is a community renewal project initiated by Housing New Zealand Corporation in a site that consisted of 1960s public housing in poor condition. The project involved major refurbishment of 108 existing dwellings and the construction of 111 new dwellings. The public spaces and street network of the block were also radically changed. The case study outlines the project process, including working with the community, plan changes and the building development.

Mixed Use Development, Church Lane, Queenstown
The Church Lane development in central Queenstown demonstrates how quality urban design outcomes can result from negotiations between private developers and councils. This case study discusses the design process, urban design issues, including noise and ways of creating new mixed use developments.

Master Planned Community, Addison, Papakura, Auckland
This case study examines the Addison master planned community in Takanini, a suburb of Papakura, Auckland. Addison is a good example of a medium density, greenfield residential development in New Zealand incorporating a range of housing typologies aimed at creating a sense of place and community that has attracted a diverse population. The challenges facing the design process and development are discussed. These include masterplans, council requirements and structure plans.


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