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Urban Design

Image for the Urban Design page.
This page contains information about Council’s urban design initiatives.
Updated: 17/06/2019 3:33 p.m.

Urban design is the process of making better places by designing buildings, spaces and infrastructure that enhance the function, feel and form of towns and cities.

Good urban design can help with improving Whangarei’s sense of place, pride and security and help to achieve a higher quality of life, more efficient use of resources and greater economic vitality.

We have adopted a number of initiatives to promote good urban design in Whangarei.

Urban Design Protocol

In 2008, we became a signatory to the New Zealand Urban Design Protocol, an initiative of the Ministry for the Environment which aims to make our towns and cities more successful through quality urban design.

Each signatory appoints an Urban Design Champion to promote quality urban design in the organisation. An Action Plan is submitted and monitored to demonstrate commitment to the Protocol.

Urban Design Panel

Our Urban Design Panel provides free advice and recommendations to individuals and developers on the urban design aspects of their proposals. 

The purpose is to help improve the design and viability of projects, increase the viability of an eventual consents application, and at the same time contribute to the enhancement of Whangarei’s urban environment.

Where proposed projects have significant urban design implications developers are encouraged to meet with the Panel early in the design stage. The earlier the assessment, the greater the benefits will be for the applicant.

Follow the links below for further details about the Design Panel and how to apply for a project review.

Urban Design Panel Implementing Guidelines [269.5kb]

Urban Design Panel Application [113kb] 

Urban Design Guides

The Urban Design Guides are a series of documents to assist with resolving Whangarei’s urban design issues. They will provide a working framework for individuals and developers who are looking to invest in projects within the urban centres of Whangarei.

Urban Design Strategy

Our Urban Design Strategy called 'Making great places to shape our future' sets out an overall visionary statement for Whangarei in terms of the urban design intentions, design principles and implementing mechanisms.

 Urban Design Strategy [2.43mb]

Urban Design Frameworks

The Urban Design Frameworks will define the character and role of specific urban centres or areas, building on existing initiatives. We are currently developing an urban design framework geared towards revitalizing the city centre.

For further information, select from the links below.

Central City Development 

Urban Structure Plans

Living Roof Guide

Living roofs, walls and facades are becoming increasingly common in cities throughout the world. The purpose of this guide is to highlight the multitude of economic, social and environmental benefits that these living systems can provide to Whangarei - improving outcomes for its people, land, water, nature and visitors.

Whangarei, like many other cities in the world, faces continued pressure from advancing urbanisation. 70% of the world’s population is estimated to be living in urban environments by 2050. Population growth, urban development and sprawl have altered once natural environments, creating increased built form, more hard surfaces, less green space and less permeability.

This is a living guide (link below) that will grow, change and develop with time to provide locally relevant information for anyone embarking on a living roof, wall or facade project in the Whangarei District.

Living Roof Guide [11mb]

Urban Design demonstration projects

A number of projects will increase community awareness and put the design guides into action. The first project is the ring of walkways around the inner harbour, to complement the construction of the bridge across the Lower Hatea River.

For further information, select from the links below. 

Town Basin Redevelopment 

Hatea River Crossing

Contact us

Phone: +64 9 4304 200


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