Why cities should make space for urban green

This is a guest post by Anna Michels. Anna is an urban designer recently with HUE, and she is about to start a role at WSP New Zealand. We are living through tumultuous times: just out of covid-19 lockdowns, RMA reform at our doorstep, the recent central government housing mandates (NPS-UD and MDRS), the release of the Emissions Reduction Plan and the new Budget.…
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Protecting Tāmaki Makaurau’s Urban Character

If twenty-thousand buildings across the city were determined to have exactly the same kind of character, few would try to claim that each and every one is “special”.  And yet, this is exactly what Auckland Council planners are doing. The National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) is a document containing international best practices for developing affordable, accessible, and low-carbon cities, which directs the major local authorities to upzone to allow up to 6 story apartments near to important transit and employment centres.…
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Unpicking the method behind Council’s SCA assessments

This is a guest post by Anna Michels. Anna is an Urban Designer at HUE in Tāmaki Makaurau. Auckland Council has released its proposed changes to the Auckland Unitary Plan in response to Central Government directions under the National Policy Statement on Urban Development (NPS-UD) and incorporating the Medium Density Residential Standard (MDRS) within the Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters Bill that was passed at the end of 2021.…
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2022 – The Year Ahead

Welcome to 2022. After wrapping up 2021 before Christmas, here’s a look at some of the things we can expect to see in 2022. Overall it appears that COVID will continue to loom large over the year and will be a major factor, potentially directly but certainly on things such as travel patterns.…
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Streets for People [take two]: 2021-2024

The next phase of Waka Kotahi’s Innnovating Streets for People programme was released quietly last week. Now called Streets for People, this is the second iteration of the project, which ran as a pilot from mid 2020-mid 2021. The possibility of a second round of funding seemed a bit up in the air when the 2020-21 pilot programme wrapped at the end of June, so it’s great to sea that Waka Kotahi are re-booting it, with what looks like an improved structure.…
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Mode-shifting services and deliveries

Service and deliveries logistics often gets raised as a problem when discussing plans to make urban areas safer for walking and cycling. We want to reduce the presence of vehicles in community centres and neighbourhoods, but how can we provide for services and deliveries that come by truck, van and car?…
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