News and views from our members.
Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Urban Design Forum or its supporting institutes.
Landscape rehabilitation and urban redevelopment of Three Kings
Richard Reid has published an article on Fletcher Residential’s proposed redevelopment of Three Kings Quarry.
The article provides an overview of Fletcher’s design within the context of the historic volcanic landscape of Te Tātua a Riukiuta (Three Kings Volcano), the city’s plans for residential intensification and the expectations of the local community.
28 March 2018
The Urban Design Forum supports the main thrust of the Plan, particularly the ongoing commitment to compact, efficient and well-designed patterns of growth and development.
We further support the integration of economic and social issues into the Auckland Plan, but note the danger in this holistic approach is that the Plan loses focus on the spatial and physical aspects of planning. It seems that, in part, the Plan is merely documenting current spatial initiatives rather than setting a clear strategic direction for implementation in the post-Unitary Plan era.
So the first main question is: What is the big idea driving Auckland into the future?
Auckland is not the ‘engine of prosperity’ it should be
Last week’s result of the study by NZIER into the cost of Auckland’s traffic congestion brings into focus the economic impact of choices we make about the physical form of our city. It is good to see the congestion issue now being framed as limiting the productivity of the city, rather than as just an inconvenience to be tolerated as the price of living in Auckland.
Auckland’s productivity is low when we compare ourselves to other cities that, at least on the surface, look and feel a bit like us – Sydney, Melbourne and Vancouver for example. This affects our standard of living and reduces the amount of money available to implement public works that could make Auckland much more liveable.
Not everyone loves cities. This from travel writer Paul Theroux: “Cities look like monstrous cemeteries to me, the buildings like brooding tombstones. I feel lonely and lost in the litup necropolis, nauseated by the traffic fumes, disgusted by the food smells, puzzled by the faces and the banal frenzy.”
I was reminded of this by a letter to the Herald a couple of months ago. The writer complained about the new houses springing up around Auckland looking like over-scale sentry boxes pushed together, edging along streets barely spacious enough for cars, let alone decent sized trees.
The Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel’s recommendations to Auckland Council are clear, and as simple as they could be following the two-plus years of submissions/mediations/expert conferences and hearings involving almost everyone in Auckland’s design and planning community.