Promoting urban design excellence across New Zealand.
The purpose of the UDF is to:
• Promote cross-disciplinary understanding of urban design and collaboration amongst built environment professionals;
• Raise awareness and appreciation of the benefits of urban design at both national and local levels;
• Advocate for and influence good quality urban design outcomes and best practice in urban design;
• Provide a forum for discussion of design-based approaches that are relevant to the development and management of New Zealand towns and cities.
Urban Design is the process of arranging and influencing the design of the components that make up our urban environment, with the objective of creating quality urban places. This applies in 3-dimensions and across a range of scales from the city / region down to small individual development sites.
By quality urban places, this means making places that:
• Feel safer
• Encourage healthier lifestyles
• Are more culturally relevant, promote social and community interaction and are more equitable
• Are more sustainable and enduring
• Are more economically prosperous
• Are easier to move around by a range of forms of transport including walking
• Are more enjoyable to spend time in, and are more attractive to live in, to work in, to visit and to invest in.
The UDF recognises that creating great quality urban places also depends on a range of other aspects including politics and law-making including financial policies; development economics; social, community and cultural issues; policing; and traffic management to name but a few. The field of urban design can’t attempt to resolve all these issues. But where it can help is in the physical arrangement of the components that make up our built environments.
The UDF therefore believe that urban design is the skilled process of influencing and arranging these urban components. It is recognised that the primary design responsibility for these components lies with design specialists including architects, landscape architects, engineers etc. In this regard, good urban design is achieved by all built environment professionals working together to achieve common urban design goals and the skill of the urban designer in many cases is to help other specialist designers to work together and see the wider urban design outcomes.
The UDF believes that there are professional urban designers – specialists practising urban design who have been trained to fully understand the art of arranging the elements of the built environment to get the best possible urban design outcomes.
There are also related design specialists whose primary role is to design the individual urban components (such as buildings, spaces and streets) but in doing so are trying to achieve wider urban design outcomes.
The UDF aims to promote cross disciplinary understanding of urban design and represent both specialist urban designers as well as those with other primary specialisms who are determined to achieve good urban design outcomes.
• Continue to update the UDF website and other media platforms with articles, information and other relevant links
• Identify and share scholarship and intern opportunities
• Sharing of the good news stories
• Raise social media profile and develop a media plan for engagement
• Establish media contacts, provide regular updates on urban issues and media releases
• Identify high profile conduits for messaging with identified spokespeople
• To continue supporting a national urban design conference (on a biennial basis)
• To host branch events including both members only and open entry on a quarterly basis
• Identify key alliances and collaboration opportunities at national and local level including NZPI, NZILA, NZIA, Property Council, Women in Urbanism, NZIS and Nga Aho.
• Investigate the idea of re-introducing a national Urban Design Award programme to recognise and reward outstanding urban design practice around the country.
• Develop a process for achieving “recognised practitioner” status
• Develop an agreed approach to urban design assessment
• Pro-active lobbying, particularly to central government on key UD issues of national significance including the provision of national urban design advice and the creation of urban development authorities
• Responding formally on behalf of the urban design community to key topics, issues, policies and other major proposals
The New Zealand Urban Design Forum was first created in 2005 as a collaboration between the planning, landscape, architecture, engineering and surveying Institutes.
The UDF became independent and an incorporated society on 17th September 2014 but still has strong associations and partnerships with those institutes.
The UDF is modelled on similar groups in Australia and England.
Membership is open to anyone who is interested in urban design and cares about the quality of the built environment and life in our towns and cities and wants to help raise the standards of urban design across the country. The UDF encourages membership from anyone interested in urban design and including planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers, surveyors, politicians, academics, developers and other individuals.
Apply for Membership $42.50 to 31 March 2021. Student Membership free.
Being a member of the UDF means:
The organisation is overseen by an elected National Committee who provide their service on a voluntary basis.
UDF is managed part-time by Melanie Whittaker firstname.lastname@example.org