Auckland and sustainable neighbourhoods : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Resource and Environmental Planning at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
Projections for continued growth in Auckland create pressure to expand an already spread-out city. It is essential that housing supply can meet growing demand, but it is also important that new developments support healthy lifestyles and a healthy environment. A key issue in striking such a balance is the way in which new developments are deemed fit for purpose. This research uses a model of neighbourhood sustainability to assess housing in Auckland neighbourhoods. There are two key questions which the research aims to answer: how sustainable are Auckland neighbourhoods, and is there an ‘Auckland approach’ to neighbourhood sustainability.
Case studies were made of eight neighbourhoods, four recent Auckland developments and four international developments documented in literature as being exemplary of sustainability in some way. The four Auckland neighbourhood developments were evaluated using a Neighbourhood Sustainability Observational Tool by Beacon Pathway (2008b). The observational assessments showed that the sustainability performance of the neighbourhood cases was reasonable overall, and a common area of strength was the delivery of quality public spaces and street networks.
Comparison of the Auckland case studies to the international case studies showed that the common strengths of the Auckland examples were also areas of strength internationally. The international neighbourhoods demonstrated a greater range of sustainability initiatives, however. In particular, if the Auckland cases paid greater attention to the provision of community-based infrastructure, and social equity, they could achieve a more whole expression of neighbourhood sustainability.