Space for zero: A Masters in Landscape Architecture research project

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Sommerville, Pippa
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Landscape Architecture
Unitec Institute of Technology
Wake, Sue
Bradbury, Matthew
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Rānui (Auckland, N.Z.)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
urban areas
emission reduction pathways
community engagement
climate change
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Sommerville, P. (2022). Space for zero: A Masters in Landscape Architecture research project. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Landscape Architecture). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
RESEARCH QUESTION How will net-zero living impact the design of urban public space? ABSTRACT This research addresses our need to shift to a net zero lifestyle. It considers how public space contributes to this and what other cities are doing about it before making a case for a community-based participatory approach, empowering people to engage in the process of climate change mitigation. Rānui, an outer suburb of Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland is the site for this research. A localised emissions profile was developed using the FutureFit tool, which provided evidence of Rānui residents’ emissions and their main sources. With support of the Rānui Action Project (a not-for-profit community group), participatory consultation workshops were conducted, which identified three areas for my research by design phase to focus on – local food production, active and community-based public transport, and local fixing and repair. Research into Te Ao Māori and advice from mana whenua further informed and enriched the project, leading to the inclusion of increased ngahere (forest) and restoration of awa (streams) within my design phase. A two-stage design process followed, with consultation on design sketches informing final plans and elevations. In conclusion, it is important to acknowledge that this has been a small and initial research by design project, that should now be repeated on a larger scale, and with greater numbers of community members contributing. However, this project has shown that the process of community engagement on emissions reduction and parameters for retaining and restoring native ecology in the area has led to public space design that is pragmatic and low impact, yet rich and abundant. If delivered, it could provide the Rānui community with every opportunity to lead net zero lives in the future
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