Is policy leading to improved sustainability at the local urban scale?

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Sustainability Engineering and Science, 2007, pp. 1 - 10
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
In New Zealand, urban growth strategies and environmental policies at national and regional levels are influencing urban transformations at the local scale. Intensified residential and mixed use developments are emerging at growth nodes as outcomes of the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy 2050. The New Zealand Urban Design Protocol identified significant influences from government legislation, strategies and policies on urban design and the built forms at local level. The national walking and cycling strategy indicates that supportive local-scale layout and design in both existing and new developments could significantly influence travel behaviour. One of the six goals of the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy is to reduce local environmental effects of energy production and use. The Urban Form Design and Development (UFDD) work, part of the 'Auckland Sustainable Cities Programme' under the NZ Sustainable Development Programme of Action (NZSDPOA), focussed on policy mechanisms to drive sustainable urban form at the local scale in the Auckland Region. Using a case study-based approach, this paper investigates how national and regional policies influence the environmental sustainability of emerging local residential forms at this scale, especially in the Auckland Region. Three selected case studies are examined in terms of: applied urban design principles; design characteristics including street patterns, subdivision layouts and open space provisions; density of development; potential and actual renewable energy use and available transport options. A comparison of the New Zealand approach to sustainable urban forms with an international zero energy residential development is made. Results indicate the policies could influence emerging local-scale urban forms in varied manners generating significantly different contributions to environmental sustainability.
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