6 Opportunities for Further Research
As a document intended to generate discussion, this report provides an overview of different approaches to achieving a fully sustainable built environment. However, further research is required to identify ways to overcome challenges and to further quantify the benefits associated with a regenerative approach, in particular for central government organisations. Identified further research questions include:
- What are the negative environmental impacts of New Zealand’s built environment? What would be the consequences of continuing with business-as-usual?
- What opportunities specifically related to New Zealand communities and businesses would arise from adopting cradle-to-cradle, restorative and regenerative development approaches, and how can these be quantified? What are the opportunities and outcomes associated with these development approaches over the extra long term?
- How are qualitative opportunities and benefits associated with cradle-to-cradle, restorative or regenerative development quantified in a way that is meaningful for central government and other key organisations, sufficient to justify adoption of these approaches? Are measuring qualitative benefits necessary or possible?
- What are the New Zealand-specific barriers to adopting development models beyond eco-efficiency in improving the built environment? What changes are required in the business-as-usual approach to achieve regenerative development, for example? How do land ownership and established legal land boundaries contribute to, or hinder, regenerative approaches? Could the existing legislative and regulatory environment accommodate a regenerative approach to the built environment? If not, what changes are required to achieve the transition to regenerative development? How can New Zealand implement projects that demonstrate such an approach?
- How do these development approaches relate to tangata whenua perspectives, needs and self determination?
- How does adoption of these new development approaches link to other sustainability initiatives currently active in New Zealand, in the public and private sector? Where are the most effective places to intervene in the current system to affect positive change?
- How can developments positively evolve over time through feedback?
- What are the implications of taking an integrated approach to the built environment at a national, regional and local level. How do participatory approaches to development relate to these new development approaches?
- How can New Zealand learn and benefit from international experiments and experience in this area?
- Would it be appropriate to establish a set of sustainable built environment principles for New Zealand for the next 20–30 years? If so, what would these principles look like and how would they be supported?