Low density urban morphology and energy performance optimization. A new pilot project in New Lynn, Auckland (New Zealand)

Auckland is by far New Zealand’s largest city and its continued demographic and physical growth is presenting both opportunities and problems. The city now has about 1.5 million inhabitants. According to the 2006 Census projections, the medium-variant scenario shows that the population is projected to continue growing, to reach 1.93 million by 2031, while the high-variant scenario shows the region’s population growing to over two million by 2031. Whichever scenario turns out in reality, the growth is considerable and is expected to exacerbate significant problems with inadequate infrastructure – particularly transport – and runaway property prices due to a shortage of housing. Horizontal growth of the city has been dominant in the past 100 years, resulting in considerable ‘urban sprawl’. Past council have tried to tackle the sprawl, bit with limited success. Since the former seven councils of Greater Auckland have been consolidated into a single territorial authority, the new council has take a more energetic approach. The new Auckland plan has adopted the ‘compact city’ model as its ideal urban form and is the process adopting a ‘Unitary Plan’, which will mandate the policy of ‘intensification’ in many parts of the existing urban area. One such area is the suburb (once a frontier town in its own right) of New Lynn, west of central Auckland. Central areas of New Lynn have been proposed for redevelopment and intensification and a draft plan for this has already been published. From this project IMM aims to develop particular strategies to help municipalities and local authorities to retrofit, renovate and reactivate inefficient and energy consuming neighborhood in a more integrated and sustainable part of the New Auckland.