SESSION THEME | Place-based Visions


An investigation into the lived experience of a master planned housing development

Thursday 2 April,  

Addison was an innovative masterplanned community for its time. The design experimented with narrow streets, plentiful tree cover, small neighbourhood parks and active street frontages with garages accessed through rear lanes. 16 years on from the start of construction, Auckland Council went back to find out how people like living in Addison. The voice and values of residents was captured through interviews, focus groups and a community survey.

In 2007 the Ministry for the Environment carried out a case study of Addison highlighting its approach to urban design. The development was designed as a Transit Oriented Development but the promised train station never eventuated. This has resulted in a car orientated development with a narrow road network struggling to cope with the levels of car ownership.

So what did we find? Generally, people loved living in Addison and had a strong association with the place. We heard stories of community gyms operating in garages in rear lanes, people happy to walk around the area and popular community events in the establishment of the area. However, there were frustrations around the width of the roads, the lack of parking and ongoing maintenance of the generous tree cover and neighbourhood parks. People also wanted more community events.

Lessons learnt from this research can be applied to new developments as Auckland continues to grow and intensify. It is not just about building houses it is about urban liveability and community building. The research has captured the importance of getting the street widths and road hierarchy right from the start, providing clear purpose to green spaces, and having the infrastructure and centre established early on to support the development of community.

Presenters:  Anna Jennings & Alison Reid

Co-Authors:  Rachel Butler

Principal Strategic Advisor - Urban Growth and Housing, Auckland Council

Anna is a Principal Strategic Advisor in Urban Growth and Housing at Auckland Council. She has held a range of public sector and private sector planning roles in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. Anna has a passion for planning and using a strategic lens to look at the complexities of our urban areas. She facilitates collaboration between people across disciplines and organisations to deliver effective change. 

Manager, Economic and Social Research and Evaluation, Auckland Council

Following the completion of a Masters of Arts degree in Sociology, Alison enjoyed a short stint in public health research at the NZ AIDS Foundation, prior to entering the heady world of local government research over 15 years ago. She has been involved in a range of research programmes. She has a particular interest in housing, as well as global, national and local population trends and change, and the impacts of change on Auckland’s socio-cultural-economic landscapes.


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