Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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BiodiverCity: The integration of biodiversity within medium-density housing

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posted on 2024-05-31, 08:19 authored by Katie Jenkins

As cities continue to expand, our connection to biodiversity is reduced and our ecological resilience is placed under increasing pressure. Housing developments are replacing native flora and fauna ecosystems, with no consideration in to where these species will relocate. The fragmentation of our natural environment disconnects us from the natural landscape, pushing species further away from our central cities. An empty lot located behind the basin reserve in Wellington, the Capital City of Aotearoa New Zealand, provides an ideal opportunity to rethink how we design housing. Acting as a stepping-stone habitat, the site identifies a gap in Wellington’s town belt that will support the integration of green infrastructure. By attending to the diverse ecosystem and demands of the land, housing becomes the second priority and encourages a coexistence of species. In order to provide a refined habitat, an under standing of six species will be studied to form the keystone species, ensuring targeted planting and design solutions can be beneficially integrated into the landscapes design and function. Reshaping this design approach to the built environment places the ideas of Landscape Architects at the forefront of design decisions, creating a co-existence of humans and fauna within the urban framework. The site will be used to form a design-led research response to strengthen our relationship to the landscape and the significance of daily ecological connections that are ignored due to human pressure demands in Wellington. The ambition behind this research is to test how housing can be formed as an addition to the landscape, adding to the green corridor between the Mt Victoria and Central Park sections of the town belt. This research attempts to think past the barriers that landscaping is an accessory but should be used to make homes more resilient while ensuring our native ecosystems can grow and adapt within the urban environment.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Landscape Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

2 Strategic basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Marques, Bruno