News and views from our members.
Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Urban Design Forum or its supporting institutes.
“What are the key ingredients in building a successful and sustainable city?”
I recently visited Newport Beach in Southern California to see whether entrepreneurial heritage, tempered exclusivity and resilience can be successfully coupled in order to establish a unique urban brand.
Captain Samuel S. Dunnells winged an entry into the South Californian dangerous harbour in 1870. On hearing this the Irving brothers agreed to found a port here and called it simply “New Port”. The settlement became a lively commercial port with fishing and shipbuilding. The MacFadden Brothers, among others, saw housing opportunities and created some artificial islands in the harbour waters. One Island was called Balboa was connected by a bridge to the mainland and by a small car ferry to the peninsula, which still operates today. This is a highly sustainable measure as it reduces driving times around the peninsula to the North.
In March I attended the 2019 Transportation Group New Zealand Conference “the changing face of transport”. I left conference feeling that the transport industry understands the need to enable sustainable transport and is taking action to deliver it. I also spoke on mode bias, meaning the inherent bias towards the needs of motor vehicle users. Here are some excerpts from my conference presentation with notes on complementary points picked up at conference!
What is car dependency?
• Conscious car dependency is when people with modal choice consciously choose to drive. Structural car dependency is due to lack of choice. Mode shift barriers can be caused by hard factors such as time and cost or soft factors such as status around the mode and the quality of the travel experience.
• Mode biases exist in policy, laws, taxes, budget allocation, language, culture and design and investment assessment tools. These all need to be addressed.
how design interventions have impacted our public realm
UDF's debate pitted some of the built environment industry’s best and brightest against one another in a public-private contest on the effectiveness of Urban Design in the past 15 years to create better environments in New Zealand with the proposition being: Urban Design: The Panacea we had hoped for?
The idea of the event was to deliberate what has happened in the field of Urban Design since the Urban Design Protocol was released in 2005 and how these design interventions have impacted our public realm.
Access for Everyone
The Auckland Planning Committee voted unanimously for an innovative project that will pedestrianise the Auckland City Centre on 27 November 2018.
The Access for Everyone is a bold project that will reshuffle the priority of CBD road space to different transport users.
“By the time you reach the age of 105, the probability of you dying starts to go down.”
New research data such as this from the Sapienza University of Rome shows that due to demographic changes, the new accessibility design codes are out of date by the time the ink has dried. We are living for longer, re-entering the work force after retirement, setting up new businesses in our sixties, doing post graduate studies in our seventies, and so on. Today we are “actively ageing”. The data on the needs of our changing population is clear. In the next 10 years the New Zealand population over the age of 65 will increase from 16% to 20%. Therefore, the provision of accessible assets in our urban environments will need to increase. Here I recommend five ways we can improve accessibility in the built environment, so we are future-ready.