Re-urbanising the small: An exploration of urban design principles in small-town new zealand - Te Awaroa (Helensville)
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Citation:Fletcher, R. (2020). Re-urbanising the small: An exploration of urban design principles in small-town new zealand - Te Awaroa (Helensville). (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5390
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5390
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can established urban design principles be implemented in Te Awaroa? ABSTRACT: City’s rapid growth can impact on nearby settlements, in this case, Te Awaroa (also known as Helensville), a small township located Northwest of Auckland. Te Awaroa has transformed over recent decades from a small rural community to a growing suburban town. Because of its relatively close location to Auckland City and its ongoing pattern of growth, Te Awaroa has become a target for Auckland Council Unitary Plan. The policy, broadly speaking, involves building overspill houses around Te Awaroa. The housing development has already begun, yet no policy for increasing infrastructure for the area. These developments have already resulted in significant congestion issues within the town centre and an increase in vehicle dependence, given the lack of public transport in Te Awaroa. The growth problems are not unique to Te Awaroa with similar issues faced by nearby Hobsonville point and Rolleston, two of the fastest-growing housing developments in New Zealand, which has resulted in dormitory towns with inadequate infrastructure. Rodney District Council has currently undertaken limited planning to respond to the needs of the growing population. The town has a ‘Township Enhancement Plan’, which includes the Commercial Road streetscape plan, trees, seats and patternwork. Given these plan’s narrow scope, it appears to be poorly suited for the needs of the township. This research focuses on the infrastructure required in Te Awaroa to cope with increasing demands on both the civic and commercial facilities in the town. As part of this research, a masterplan, alongside a more detailed hub design for Te Awaroa has been produced based on five traditional urban design principles2 and the Te Aranga Principles3. The masterplan pays particular attention to protecting heritage buildings, creating a more pedestrian-friendly town centre, providing more civic amenities and public spaces. It also seeks to take advantage of the river and increase the access for recreation and tourism. The hub plan includes an arcade, a public centre, boardwalks, public transport nodes, green spaces and mixeduse developments. The outcomes of this research include a masterplan and a comprehensive, detailed hub design proposal. Through more significant attention to research by design approach through producing exploratory mapping and drawings indicated the significant constraints and opportunities of the central area. Key findings such as the lack of walkability, liveliness and community interaction influenced the research, uncovering vital principles with the potential to revitalise the township. Further research of precedents offers architectural interventions proposed for Te Awaroa provide a powerful platform for the growth and community wellbeing. Through the use of a series of research by design approach through producing exploratory mapping, drawings and precedents. This project design intends to ensure that Te Awaroa becomes a destination or tourist node within the greater Auckland region. Fundamentally this would create a thriving town centre that can rival the ongoing population growth. 2 Note: Walkability, permeability, legibility, centrality and diversity. 3 Note: Mana Rangatiratanga (authority), Whakapapa (names and naming), Taiao (the natural environment), Mauri tū (environmental health), Mahi Toi (creative expression), Tohu (the wider cultural landscape), and Ahi kā (the living presence).