Wellington Scoop

District Plan review in Wellington will aim to overcome future housing shortage

News from Wellington City Council
A report released today on future housing demand shows that without action, Wellington city will face a shortfall of between 4600 and 12,000 dwellings by 2047. The report takes a region-wide view of housing and business capacity based on predicted population growth for Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua and Kapiti.

Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says that the figures come as no surprise.

“We know that more people want to make Wellington home so we are mid-way through a project that looks specifically at how and where our city can grow, without compromising those things that make us unique,” he says.

Earlier this year the Wellington City Council put four different growth scenarios to the community, and the results show that people have a strong preference for restricting growth to the central city and existing suburbs. There was little support for any green field development outside those areas already identified for growth, to avoid sprawl and more cars on the road.

“There is high awareness of the impact growth can have on the sustainability of the city,” Mayor Foster says.

“In Wellington, 80 percent of new homes over recent years have been built in existing urban areas.

“Compact cities are more walkable, bikeable and allow higher public transport use. This is crucial to reduce energy use and carbon emissions.

“The things people love most about living here are our compact form and proximity to nature. The challenge is really about finding the right balance. It’s not just about the quantity of housing, but also the quality to improve the urban and natural environment, as well as the way and quality of life for Wellingtonians,” the Mayor says.

While the report highlights a likely shortfall in housing, it shows this to be most acute between the years 2027 to 2047, and particularly in the area of medium-density housing and apartments. It shows that only 4700 terraces and 4300 apartments are likely to be built, when demand at this time will be closer to 7200 terraces and 8100 apartments.

“This makes the conversation about quality, affordable housing even more important. We are already starting to see excellent examples of really creative, multi-unit constructions happening around our city. If we are to meet demand, this is a key model to help get us there,” the Mayor says.

Wellington City Council’s Planning for Growth project is a precursor to a full District Plan review that takes place over the next two years. This review will address a number of planning rules, and look at zones for high and medium density as well as reviewing 1930s character and environmental protections. A ‘Spatial Plan’ describing the principles behind these changes, and future direction for the city will be released for review as part of a public engagement exercise in February 2020.

As well as the residential assessment, the Housing and Business Development Capacity Assessment (HBA) report shows that Wellington City will likely have enough space to accommodate growth in businesses. While population growth in the city, and the region, will mean more demand for business space, in particular for commercial and government floor-space, the report shows there is enough capacity, particularly in the central city as buildings are repurposed, refurbished or redeveloped.

However to ensure the liveliness of central Wellington, as well as our town centres and local shops, areas must be protected for retail and other uses.

“The HBA report shows there is strong demand for Wellington’s space and it is crucial we make good decisions now to ensure Wellington continues to be one of the most liveable cities in the world,” Mayor Foster says.

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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  1. Wendy, 8. November 2019, 23:30

    If the council is really serious about improving Wellington’s urban development, they need to focus on living environments as if people and planet matter. In this regard they could look to Lyon in France and the La Confluence urban redevelopment, which has one single objective: to build a smart and sustainable city.

    The project is led by a public redevelopment company that is 89% owned by Greater Lyon. The company has set up strict planning and urban design principles. Developers are required to integrate these principles into their designs to be part of the project. They sell the land to developers at a fixed rate. Developers need to win design competitions to be part of the project and not just offer the best price for the land. Social housing makes up 34% of the residential development.

    Some of the commitments are as follows:
    1.To implement a mixed and varied set of construction programmes (social and functional diversity)
    2.To encourage environmental and architectural technical innovation
    3.To create an extensive green infrastructure and a network of parks
    4.To develop public transport and a walkable city
    5.To ensure high quality urban blending with the existing neighbourhood
    6.To increase the number of connections with the surrounding urban neighbourhoods
    7.To ensure future operations would benefit from the feedback and experience from those already deployed.

  2. Ciel, 10. November 2019, 10:52

    WCC, being the seat of government, sharing the same resource pool, has the general problem of being unable to determine purpose, customer, product. The vision should be a sustainable resilient city of individuals who enjoy thriving here. The mission should be to get us from here to that envisioned future. The customers should be the individuals, not the politicians who temporarily represent them. The product delivered should be a city that acknowledges and manages current state, but is designed for and moves towards target state. That requires understanding its principles, which presumably should include (in no specific order)
    – adding more bushes and trees in open avenues to decrease inner city wind to allow for a progression towards lighter bicycles, scooters, walkers over longer distances (not everyone can live in the city center), as well as general well-being (many studies link happiness to seeing more green regularly). Take for example, Cobham Drive. Around the bays. Along the coast. From Newtown.
    – adding more cameras to compensate for blind spots caused by trees. The cameras are there to help inform the computers that regulate traffic. Also useful later at night.
    – allowing people to thrive at night. Reducing the hours of selling alcohol to max out at 1am during work weeks (2am home + 6hrs sleep, + 1back to work, is the minimum sleep and alcohol processing I’d like anybody to have before they are a health and safety issue) rather than 4am. To make that more palatable, reduce rates on the condition that the reduction is 80/20 passed on to tenants. And when a person is disorderly and charged, link them to source, which affects the city licensing costs. An organisation that is contributing to incivility should be incentivised to be a better member of the city.
    – Wellington’s city plan is not a visionary plan, but a reactive plan to large commercial forces (WCC, Airport, a filmmaker, etc). Needing more traffic from the airport is a commercial interest, producing income for the airport’s shareholders, not in the city’s interest.
    – The future is self-driving cars. They drive better than humans. They can zip together easily. A side effect is more fluidity, and less congestion. Like at tunnels. So instead of building a really expensive tunnel for use only for 15 years, let’s incentivise the city towards self-driving cars.
    – Self-driving cars don’t need to be parked beside the office (they can drive out of town to XYZ location on their own, and you can whistle them back when you are ready to leave for home). Less parked cars, less tickets, less requirement for wide roads for parking. More trees. More green. More pedestrians, more bicycles, more thriving.
    – Roads on hills are too narrow for driving and parking and bussing. Cars that can self-drive-and-park themselves away from a house…makes the issue redundant.
    – The waterfront is the highest value real estate. Yet the city has given large chunks away to commercial interests. When is the last time you’ve walked on the other side of the BNZ building? The port? Down in front of the boating club’s sheds? All that is yours. By rights.

    Wind and the bay and the hills and our (currently BS) green image are the only things that differentiates us from other cities with the same traffic, same restaurant chains, same airport, same trains. So keep on differentiating. Slow the wind, keep people out of cars so that they walk, and consume, and more commercial vendors can pay rates; don’t waste the income from rates on tunnels, or airport extensions (did you know planes can land in less distance than in the 80s?)

    How do you know that self-driving cars are coming? It’s just hype? Really? Smartphones didn’t exist 12 years ago. But it’s a city, they’re not capable of pulling that off! Well, that’s what voting is for. Choose someone who has a Strategic Plan, and tactical abilities — not people with Political Tactical skills but muddled Sound-bite Strategies that are about delivering political wins rather than concrete value.

    Admittedly, I’ve gone off topic. Sorry. District plan. If it’s only for Housing, it’s not understanding that the true objective is thriving lives. That wish to live in neighbourhoods of mixed use, protected from the wind to foster local use of spaces, increasing its value. Betting on transport mechanisms that reduce accidents, improve green space, and need less infrastructure. The plan has to offer varying value options, based on distance, height, open space, light.

    That got something off my chest. Now back to work.