Exploration of Landscape Led Property Development
Increased low-density urban sprawl and population growth created pressure on the housing system of New Zealand. Combined with an already lacking supply of housing, consequences of heightened affordability and dissipating design quality came from the inability of government planning. Developers were provided with the power, through amendments and ruling changes, to develop properties much easier to fill the gaps in the market. A shift away from the people and the environment created an absence of personal outdoor spaces. Recreating the focal point of the user and wider environment was one that a landscape architect can do, through a socio-ecological lens.
The goal of this research was the inclusion of the user and environment back into the property development through its outdoor spaces while responding to density requirements within Wellington, New Zealand. The city offered a background of scaling density which boasted plenty of character. It also featured the potential for higher quality development of its outdoor spaces. Drawn into Mount Victoria as a case study, the research developed through this suburb’s investigation. Incorporation of interviews with professionals, site scaled analysis, and surveying of existing medium density housing (MDH) residents pushed this process even further. These tools helped provide the human element to the outdoor spaces of MDH developments. Knowledge gained showed the overall mediocre feeling that MDH residents within the suburb felt.
The thesis proposed a set of guidelines that would work within the socio-ecological parameters that this research aimed to reconnect with. The study further focused around the economically viable, usable, and positive creation of outdoor spaces. Design results explored a street-wide re-design and imaginative application of these guidelines at a large scale. Use of the small scale helped to show the minute details that benefited not only the users, but the wider environment of these designed spaces.