Playful pathways : the regeneration of Manurewa Town Centre

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Edinberry, Zain
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Murphy, Chris
Turner, David
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Manurewa Town Centre (N.Z.)
Southmall Shopping Centre (Manurewa, N.Z.)
design of recreation facilities
recreation centres
youth centres
town centres
suburban centres
shopping malls
pedestrian experience
public spaces
urban regeneration
sense of place
Manurewa (Auckland, N.Z.)
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Edinberry, Z. (2019). Playful pathways : the regeneration of Manurewa Town Centre. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can architectural interventions showcase the importance of play for adolescents and the diverse community of Manurewa? ABSTRACT: The population of Auckland is growing at rapidly; the city is the most diverse place in New Zealand. As the cultures of the community changes, the average ‘Kiwi’ person is no longer limited to people of Maori and European ethnicity. Immigrants from all over the world now call New Zealand home. As the demographics of the city has changed, so does the cultural interactions. People are finding new ways to connect with other cultures outside of religious institutions. Exotic foods, cultural music and dance performances and even sport has allowed the average ‘Kiwi’ to engage with people and become more understanding of others – no matter where they are from. Manurewa is one of the most ethnically diverse areas in Auckland. The district has shown a decrease in European residents and an increase in residents of Maori, Polynesian and Asian ethnic backgrounds. This change in demographics does leave a disconnection to the history of Manurewa that was originally strengthened and established by early European settlement. Manurewa town centre is surrounded by the major shopping districts such as Manukau City and Botany town centre and thus retail activity in this space (and other town centres like Manurewa) has since declined. Architect and Psychologist - Bryan Lawson was known for his study of the design process, wrote in his book ‘Language of Space’ that the design of any space would require three spatial needs; Identity, Security and Stimulation. Understanding what each of these needs are and how they may be applied to the local town centre is important. This study discusses how others have used these principles to enhance and establish a place with architecture and thus will form the basis of the design. Establishing a sense of pride and identity will be through analysing what Manurewa already has to offer, highlighting the positive characters of this diverse culture and community and inform how to best combat the negative reputation of the place. The physical nature of the town centre is in need of huge improvement, various areas of barren car park spaces, dark alleyways and under- landscaped land undermine the pedestrian experience. Introducing playful activities that allow people of all age, gender and ethnicity to find commonalities is imperative. Play is an essential part of life; it is a task that is often seen as secondary to the basic needs of survival. Playful activities benefit mobility, coordination, confidence and help to develop positive habits when dealing with stress and adversity. Creating an environment which has a balance between cultivated play and free and ambiguous spaces where people are able to conduct their own ideas of play. The general public and their children deserve a space that they can feel proud of, ‘Playful Pathways” is a project that shows the potential that this place has to grow with the community. The design will act as a catalyst for economic progression and pride for Manurewa.
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