Urban | Suburban :an investigation into the effects of transport and planning on Auckland’s built form

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van der Westhuizen, Ryan
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Byrd, Hugh
Budgett, Jeanette
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Dominion Road (Auckland, N.Z.)
Auckland Unitary Plan
urban transport
public transport
public transportation nodes
urban intensification
heritage conservation
van der Westhuizen,, R. (2017). Urban | Suburban :an investigation into the effects of transport and planning on Auckland’s built form. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional),Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Research question: How can Auckland intensify its local centres yet retain the characteristics that define it? The History of Auckland’s urban form has been defined by trends in planning and the way that we move around the city. The major uptake in public transportation and the implementation of the Auckland Unitary Plan signals a shift in what has become the status quo of sprawl. Most of this change will occur in our suburbs creating a more compact city. The issue with these changes is that in the pursuit of a more compact city, the Unitary Plan can cause major disruption to the way we live. The fact that the Unitary Plan is developer and density focused has resulted in pushback from those who feel that intensification would ruin the suburbs, communities and cause overcrowding. There is very little preventing developers from creating a purely utilitarian urban form, not too dissimilar to the tenement style apartments that have emerged in our inner city. There is also very little heritage protection for the commercial buildings which define many of these local centres, especially in the isthmus suburbs. This project focuses on the effect that these changes will bring to the Dominion Road Area. It highlights the disconnect between the Unitary Plan and proposed transport infrastructure such as light rail, proposing an alternative that better integrates the two. It also aims for a design outcome that helps to preserve the built and cultural diversity seen in some of these suburbs. In the process, the project creates a more walkable compact community that does not encroach on the suburban characteristics that define these neighbourhoods. Many solutions overcome these problems. Most major cities have design guides or manuals to assist developers in creating neighbourhoods that maintain existing character. By better analysing the context of development and analysing the effect that multiple developments will have on a location will better ground any intervention. Through a more compact form diversity, heritage, as well as the character of our local centres, can be preserved. More local amenities should also be provided to the community to prevent the feel of overcrowding.
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