Climate change and housing: Exploring a New Urban model to help build resilience to climate change

Thumbnail Image
Other Title
Wang, Xinxin
Bradbury, Matthew
Melchiors, Lucia
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
housing in Auckland
high-density housing
urban flooding
climate change
flood resilient architecture
Te Aranga Design Principles
urban design
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Wang, X., Bradbury, M., Melchiors, L.C. Climate change and housing: Exploring a New Urban model to help build resilience to climate change. Asylum, 2021, 134-143.
The environmental effects of climate change and the provision of affordable housing are seen as essential yet disparate issues in contemporary urban discourse in Aotearoa New Zealand. We argue that these two critical problems are actually linked through shared landscape-based conditions. We suggest that without careful thought, the provision of housing, especially in denser typologies, could exacerbate the environmental effects of climate change. We propose a new approach to urban planning, one that acknowledges the underlying landscape and the consequence of climate change within the contemporary city. We put forward a method using catchment mapping and GIS analysis to ensure the planning of safe housing. To investigate this proposition, a collaborative design investigation between Aotearoa New Zealand government housing authority Kāinga Ora and students from the Unitec School of Architecture was conducted. The studio uses a real-life proposition, an 18-ha development site in the Tāmaki regeneration zone, as a study case. The site is susceptible to flooding and about to be intensively redeveloped, and thus exemplifies the two identified problems. Using the methods described above, students carried out a number of site investigations, shared interdisciplinary group analyses, and tested the effect of climate change (especially flooding) on the existing site and the impact of the intensified development in exacerbating flooding. The result was a new awareness by landscape architects and architects, that in the face of climate change, the two practices are irrevocably intertwined.
Unitec ePress
Copyright holder
Copyright notice
All rights reserved
Copyright license
Available online at
This item appears in: