It's encouraging to see the progress being made with some of our 'support' projects.
These developments are tangible examples of how Panuku is playing its part in the mammoth collective effort that’s required to meet Auckland’s housing supply needs over the next 20 years.
Projects like Link Crescent and Racecourse Parade also illustrate that whatever happens when the dust settles after the Proposed Unitary Plan hearings, development to create greater density in Auckland’s existing urban areas is a case of when, not if.
With 800 people arriving every week into the region, it’s important we first make the most of the land we have direct access to and manage on behalf of Council. As outlined in the Auckland Plan, there’s every reason to suggest intensive development done right has a strong role to play in the region’s future.
But what does “done right” mean? Certainly, there are pockets of people within communities that have genuine concerns, valid or not, that intensive development is synonymous with Coronation Street type terrace housing and ugly apartment towers that result in a lack of privacy and overshadowing.
The reality is that modern high density outcomes can be very different. Take for example the Avondale development at Racecourse Parade where Ockham Residential has produced some innovative design. And the architect responsible grew up in the area and has a strong interest in adding to the area's look and feel. Link Crescent in Stanmore Bay, delivered by McConnell Property, is another development which features diversity in building typologies. This will ensure the development is integrated into the existing residential context.
Wynyard Quarter on the city waterfront sets the design bar even higher with homes designed by some of New Zealand’s leading architects including Athfield Architects and Architectus. And at a minimum of 7 Home Star sustainable building ratings, they are true representation of medium density done well.
The Auckland Design Manual is a key tool in this regard, a ‘design safety net‘ to ensure that as Auckland grows at an unprecedented rate, quality is not sacrificed at the expense of quantity.
Panuku uses international exemplars as benchmarks against which to set high standards. The more we learn from good examples offshore, the more we can get our development partners to push boundaries, in design, building performance and sustainability.
We saw that recently when we hosted London-based regeneration expert Jonathan Smales who provided an insight into the value of density development and how it ties in with a more sustainable lifestyle.
While I appreciate there are other reasons that give density a bad rap, such as pressure on existing infrastructure and transport connections, quality of design to ensure intensive developments are “done right”, need not be one of them.
Director Place shaping Panuku Development Auckland