Research Projects 2011

An archive of research projects from 2011 supported by Transforming Cities.

A critical evaluation of housing intensification strategies and urban growth policies in Auckland

Six people standing inside a room
From left to right: Errol Haarhoff, Lee Beattie, Regan Solomon, Jenny Dixon, Larry Murphy and Ann Dupuis.

Principal Investigator

Professor Errol Haarhoff
Architecture and Planning

Researchers

  • Professor Jenny Dixon
    Architecture and Planning
  • Professor Laurence Murphy
    Property
  • Lee Beattie
    Architecture and Planning
  • Associate Professor Ann Dupuis
    Massey University, Sociology
  • Regan Solomon
    Advisor, Auckland Council

Higher density housing developments, located close to public transport hubs, are a key strategy used to prevent suburban sprawl and achieve more sustainable urban development. International experience suggests that market and consumer resistance to high density lifestyles is problematic and can undermine the success of growth management strategies. This project examined whether recent transit-oriented housing developments in Auckland are meeting the resistance found elsewhere, and the extent to which this may be a problem in meeting urban sustainability objectives. This research was part-funded by the Auckland Council and used as a basis for policy advice to the Council on its urban growth strategies.

Contact

Errol Haarhoff
Email:
e.haarhoff@auckland.ac.nz

Auckland’s solar renewable energy potential: An innovation for a sustainable city

Principal Investigator, Hugh Byrd (centre) with Nirmal Nair and Basil Sharp.

Principal Investigator

Dr Hugh Byrd
Architecture and Planning

Researchers

  • Professor Basil Sharp
    Economics
  • Dr Nirmal Nair
    Electrical and Computer Engineering

This project investigated the photovoltaic (PV) solar potential of the residential, commercial and institutional built environment in Auckland. This distributed solar potential could supplement Auckland’s increasingly vulnerable electricity supply and partly offset rapid increases in energy demand. Auckland has witnessed the economic loss and social costs of electricity blackouts before. In the future, blackouts (total or partial) may be caused by an inadequate electricity supply affecting businesses, infrastructure, food supply, health care and individual homes. Auckland requires a more resilient electricity supply to mitigate any future risk of power rationing.

The first stage of the research involves the making of a three-dimensional model of a slice through Auckland from the CBD out to the suburbs and assessing the renewable energy available. The expected results of this research will benefit all communities in Auckland including individual householders, Auckland Council’s Spatial Plan and the electricity supply industry.

Contact

Hugh Byrd
Email:
h.byrd@auckland.ac.nz

Water in the sustainable city: An art-science-education collaboration for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Back row: Rose Martin, Rebecca Wood, Clark Ehlers, Charlotte Šunde (Principal Investigator) and Carol Brown. Front Row: Kathy Waghorn, Katie Fitzpatrick and Alys Longley (Principal Investigator). Absent: Gary Brierley.

This innovative arts-science collaboration investigated water in the sustainable city. Critical to the ongoing sustainable development of the city is the need for widespread public education and social awareness of the current and potential resources of this place; an understanding of our relationships with those resources; and recognition of our connection to other places beyond the city’s periphery. The group devised a series of urban installation and performance works that brought to light the material, technical, social, cultural, spiritual and economic dimensions of water in Auckland city. Researchers and postgraduate students gathered different water stories drawn from a range of knowledge sources. The creative works presenteded at a number of sites in Auckland this year with the intention of generating widespread public education and social awareness around the different values and dimensions of water in the city – including "hidden" waterways: the cultural and mythological stories associated with water, subterranean fluids, and the infrastructural network of piped waters. They aimed to motivate ecological stewardship and create experiences that enhance the quality of life in our city.

More details about the Fluid City project

Transforming Auckland’s transportation system into a resilient, environmentally-friendly and health-enhancing system with a spatial decision support system

Principal Investigator

Dr Judith Wang
Engineering Science

Researchers

  • Professor Matthias Ehrgott
    Engineering Science
  • Dr Seosamh Costello
    Civil and Environmental
  • Dr Jennifer Salmond
    School of Environment
  • Dr Kim Dirks
    School of Population Health

This project aimed to improve sustainability in transport in the Auckland region by developing a spatial tool to enable informed transport decisions. The tool allows policy decision makers to use multi-criteria analysis to evaluate transport in terms of economic, environmental and social sustainability. Public users of the same system gain information on time, monetary cost, vehicle emissions, pollutant exposure and an appropriate health index (based on exercise level and pollutant exposure along the route) for a selected route on different transport modes. The tools developed in this study aim to support sustainable decisions made by policy decision makers as well as users, enabling Auckland’s transportation system to be transformed into a resilient, environmentally-friendly and health-enhancing system.

Contact

Judith Wang
Email: j.wang@auckland.ac.nz

The greening of Auckland

Principal Investigator, Carol Boyle (centre front) with Stephen Knight-Lenihan, Bruce Burns, Will Thresher, Elizabeth Fassman and Luitgard Schwendenmann.

Principal Investigator

Associate Professor Carol Boyle
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Researchers

  • Dr Stephen Knight-Lenihan
    Urban Planning
  • Dr Bruce Burns
    Biological Sciences
  • Dr Elizabeth Fassman
    Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Will Thresher
    Thresher Associates Ltd
  • Dr Luitgard Schwendenmann
    School of Environment

Green infrastructure has the potential to add value and increase the resilience, sustainability and liveability of Auckland. "Green infrastructure" refers to natural and engineered ecological systems that are integrated within the built environment to provide the widest possible range of ecological, community and infrastructure services. It includes infrastructure aimed at managing stormwater, reducing energy use and carbon emissions, and improving adaptation to climate change. This project identified opportunities for urban transformation and new development across a demonstration area in the Central Business District, selected in collaboration with Auckland Council. Using 3 dimensional Geographic Information Systems technology, the project aimed to model potential transformations for improving amenity value and environmental, social and economic benefits. It was anticipated that the strategy would help achieve the goals of the Auckland Council’s Spatial Plan to increase green spaces throughout Auckland and to transform it into the world’s most liveable city.

Contact

Carol Boyle
Email:
c.boyle@auckland.ac.nz