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Community-led urban development recognised at New Zealand planning awards

Community-led urban development recognised at New Zealand planning awards
April 8, 2019

The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) has recognised Christchurch City Council’s community-led revitalisation initiatives at its annual awards.

Presented at the weekend, the NZPI's supreme accolade recognised how the Council has applied a collaborative approach that reflects the community’s desire for increased local action and decision-making following the 2010/11 Christchurch earthquakes.

An online ‘Shape your Place’ toolkit was launched to help Christchurch residents identify, plan and deliver their own neighbourhood Projects.

Public and private areas have been transformed into meaningful community spaces – resulting in new fitness trails, pop-up theatres, playground rebuilds, street parties, and communal gardens. Amenity and community activity has also improved at various earthquake-damaged locations.

The innovative approach to urban development claimed the title of Best Practice in Non-Statutory Planning and NZPI’s supreme accolade, the Nancy Northcroft Award.

NZPI Chair Karyn Sinclair says the award reflects the organisation’s strong place-making leadership, which moves away from traditional council-led master plans.

Advising that place-making is a grassroots, collaborative approach to urban design that encourages public participation, Sinclair stated “Christchurch City Council is acutely aware that ownership of place lies at the neighbourhood level, and communities hold a significant amount of knowledge, initiative and attachment that can inform Project scope, design, delivery and upkeep.

“It is a great example of deep engagement with a community that has experienced a lot of recent social disruption.”

Other key awards highlighted coastal planning in the Kermadec and Subantarctic Islands, restoring the ecological and cultural health of Lyttelton Harbour, and transforming one of New Zealand’s most dangerous intersections into an acclaimed Napier gateway.

The awards were the closing item for the NZPI 2019 conference, which was held in Napier last week.

The top three planning issues addressed at the conference were urban growth, climate change and water quality. Future food security, driverless cars and Maori involvement in freshwater planning were also high on the agenda.

More than 600 delegates attended the conference, including industry leaders, iwi, resource managers, urban designers, scientists, environmental advocates and local and central government.

NZPI 2019 Awards Summary
Nancy Northcroft Supreme Planning Practice Award and Best Practice - Non-statutory Planning
• Project: Supporting community-led planning and place-making
• Award Winner: 
o Christchurch City Council - Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Unit, and Community Support, Governance and Partnership Unit

Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP) International Award
• Project: Innovative risk-based planning and engagement for natural hazards
• Award WinnerS: 
o Bay of Plenty Regional Council
o Enfocus
o GNS Science
o Integrity Professionals

Best Practice – District or Regional Plan 
• Project: Regional Coastal Plan – Kermadec and Subantarctic Islands
• Award Winner: 
o Department of Conservation

Best Practice – Strategic Planning and Guidance
• Project: Wellington City District Plan Pre-1930 Character Area Review
• Award WinnerS:
o Greg Vossler, Boffa Miskell
o Hayley Hume-Merry, Boffa Miskell
o Marc Baily, Boffa Miskell
o Kate Pascall and Team, Wellington City Council
o Ian Bowman

Best Practice – Integrated Planning and Investigations
• Project: Te Putahi: The Confluence – Cultural Impact Assessment Report for Growth Precinct 4, Fielding 
• Award WinnerS:
o Cynthia Ward, Project Manager, Manawatu District Council
o Dennis Emery, Ngā Kaitiaki o Ngāti Kauwhata
o April Bennett, Resource & Environmental Planning Programme, Massey University
o Brent Limmer, Project Sponsor, Manawatu District Council

Best Practice Consultation and Participation Strategies and/or Processes
• Project: Whaka-Ora Healthy Harbour, Whakaraupō Catchment Management Plan
• Award WinnerS:
o Te Hapū o Ngāti Wheke Inc
o Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu
o Lyttleton Port Company Ltd
o Environment Canterbury
o Christchurch City Council

Rodney Davies Project Award
• Project: Kuaka Gateway, SH2/SH2A/Watchman Road
• Award WinnerS:
o Nick Aiken
o NZ Transport Agency
o Napier City Council
o Hawkes Bay Airport
o Michele Frey
o Andrew Sowersby
o WSP Opus

Lance Leikis NZPI Young Planner Award 
• Award Winner: Courtney Bennett

Alfred O.Glasse Award (in recognition of outstanding services to planning by non-planners
• Award Winner: David Gibbs, Construkt Associates Ltd

Wallace Ross Award (recognising excellence in research)
• Award Winner: Emily McEwan

Reginald Hammond Scholarship
• Award Winner: Bridget Taylor

Image: Christchurch's  Margaret Mahy Playground.

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