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Fact sheets and briefings

Density Done Well

Connecting people to places with good design

Partnering with the New Zealand Institute of Architects and The Festival of Architecture for the very first time, September's free Smart Talk Future Thinking event was a general panel discussion entitled 'Placemaking and Density Done Well'.

Traversing the challenges and opportunities of great place-making and urban design the panel talked about their experiences with density, urbanism, co-design, green and brownfield environments, creative engagement with community and much more.

Placemaking & Density Done Well

Some thought-provoking issues were brought up in the question and answer session at the end but with no single conclusion. Although, the theme was summed up by one of the 120 attendees who quoted Winston Churchill: “We shape our cities, and then our cities shape us.”

Some takeaways from the discussion:

  • It’s important to invest in great public spaces and amenities upfront (meeting places, parks, walkways, cycleways) if you want more more density and more housing choice. This will encourage people to feel that having a smaller home isn’t an issue in terms of still having a great quality of life. People use the public spaces to meet and enjoy life outside their home environment…and it’s good for a city to have that community feel and street life.
  • We need to make it easier for builders and developers to do things differently, if that will deliver good design outcomes and more housing choice. We need to look at ways to build in flexibility to council processes and rules and somehow incentivise the provision of more housing choice – particularly 1 and 2 bedroom homes. Housing affordability is a big concern.
  • Councils, builders and developers will need to work together – but no one sector is going to solve the housing affordability issue. The effort needs to be a joined up effort with central government too, across the social, affordable and market housing sectors. We want more housing choice, and there is demand for smaller homes, but we have to ensure we get the urban design and quality design of those homes right.

The Festival of Architecture Tauranga

The panel of experts included:

Benje Feehan (Ignite Architects), Lisa Mein (Boffa Miskell), Simon Maxwell (The Lakes, Carrus Group), Michael Tucker (Manager of Urban Strategy at Tauranga City Council, Damian Simpson (Ignite Architects and NZIA representative). 

SmartGrowth's Bernie Walsh was the facilitator 

Read their bios here.

Our panellists answered a couple of quick questions after the event:

Festival of Architecture in the Bay of Plenty for the first time 

The NZIA brought the Festival of Architecture to the Waikato & Bay of Plenty for the first time this year.  Through a series of events from the 7th to the 17th September 2017, celebrating architecture and its importance to the life of New Zealand’s towns and cities.  See the programme of Waikato/Bay of Plenty events

The NZIA represents more than 90 per cent of all registered architects in New Zealand. Through their members they are committed to promoting and celebrating outstanding architecture and to creating greater awareness of the values and benefits well designed buildings and public spaces can bring. More information...



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