The redevelopment of Tāmaki is the largest urban regeneration project in New Zealand. It will deliver over 7,500 new homes over a projected 20-year timeframe. In late 2016 Tāmaki Redevelopment Company called for proposals from development partners to deliver the first phase of development including over 2,500 homes. The regeneration focuses on four key areas: Social Transformation, Economic Development, Place making and Housing Supply.
Tāmaki – the area occupied by modern-day Panmure, Glen Innes and Point England, was home to over 10,000 Māori prior to the arrival of European settlers. This thriving community was sustained by the plentiful seafood of the Tāmaki estuary and the fertile soils of Maungarei/Mt Wellington. Today, Tāmaki is more often associated with the State housing initiatives of the 1930’s-50’s, which have left a visible imprint on both the land and the people. The vibrant community has struggled with deprivation and much of the State housing stock is in a poor state of repair.
Isthmus were a key member of the ‘Tūhono Tāmaki’ consortium, led by Fletcher Residential Living. Working in a collaborative team we embarked upon developing a masterplan that is grounded in the place and people of Tāmaki. Through a series of design workshops we identified a number of constraints, but also huge opportunities for improvement.
As a team we reviewed streets, movement and travel, use of public open spaces, and natural amenity to arrive at a cohesive and integrated set of design principles underpinning the structure of the masterplan. New linkages were proposed to better connect residential neighbourhoods with the Town Centre and to aid pedestrian and cycle travel as an alternative to private vehicle use.
The masterplan was organised into a framework of 22 Distinct neighbourhoods. One key aspect of our role was analysing each neighbourhood – opportunities, constraints, movement, local amenities, and formulating appropriate built form responses.
Housing is never just housing in our minds – it must relate to its context and complement the intent of the masterplan to be truly effective and integrated. For instance, popular high-traffic routes to and from schools were designed to be ‘walk streets’ offering increased safety for the high numbers of school-age children within the community.
Houses facing these streets featured porches and generous glazing for visibility and a sense of connection, while vehicular traffic and garaging was located off laneways at the rear of properties. The removal of driveways from front yards offers increased safety, greater social interaction, and improved streetscape amenity, promoting more journeys by foot or cycle.
Currently, social housing amounts to 57% of residential properties in this area. The masterplan provides a more structured mix of social, affordable and market housing, arranged to promote better use of land, improved social resilience, increased diversity and a wider range of choice.