A New Heart for East Porirua, Waitangirua
Waitangirua is a vital piece of the puzzle when completing the Porirua Regeneration Scheme and The Transmission Gully Motorway. Waitangirua is a small suburb of 4020 residents located in the East of Porirua City. The current regeneration of East Porirua is seeing 2000 state homes being renovated or demolished and 2000 additional dwellings on site. With that in mind, a transmission gully link road drives straight to the heart of the community’s village centre: this road alone will see an additional 3000-4000 cars travelling down it daily. Waitangirua currently hosts a diverse and young population, but it lacks the architectural features to encourage diversity and social interaction. With Transmission Gully’s completion in 2020 and the regeneration at the beginning of its 25-year plan, it is timely to think about the future of Waitangirua, not only for the social growth of the suburb but also the liveability for the community. The current village centre does not match its neighbourhood, let alone have the capability to host all these new people. Leading to the research question, ‘How can an under-utilised centre be re-imagined for the social growth and liveability of its residents?’ This thesis examines the importance of connections for social growth and liveability; while considering the priority of community engagements in the success of the design. It also investigates the significance of architecture and urban planning in integrating the identity of the community and their culture into the design schemes. A New Heart for East Porirua proposes this can be achieved by renewing the flow and connection of the people; to each other, their village centre and wider Porirua. At the same time as engaging with the community and cultural narrative to enhance the site; and finally, by re-imagining the under-utilised centre and community hub in a holistic approach for the on-going journey of the community of Waitangirua.