MWH has been engaged by the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) to undertake research into the nature and extent of urban design related provisions currently contained in statutory plans and policies prepared under the RMA.
The purpose of this Urban Design Stocktake is two-fold:
25 planning documents were selected for analysis from across the country. A requirement of the analysis was to provide a spread of documents including:
In selecting the chosen plans the intention was to take a regional approach, selecting regions from which we would analyse the Regional Policy Statement and a range of district plans, as well as including plans from Unitary Authorities. In choosing the regions to assess we looked to include regions experiencing different pressures, for example high growth regions, and low or negative growth regions.
Each selected document was assessed against a questionnaire developed for this research, which included ten ‘Headline Criteria’, these being the urban design principles of Amenity, Commerce, Choice, Custodianship, Collaboration, Character, Heritage, Open Space, Connectivity and Urban Growth Management. A total of 51 sub-criteria were developed under the Headline Criteria.
Plan/policy provisions relevant to each sub-criteria were entered into the questionnaire table. A weighting was given to each sub-criteria based on the number of relevant provisions under the document (1-4 = Low, 5-9 = Medium, 10+ = high).
The aim of the project is to identify the extent to which urban design principles have been incorporated into planning documents, in order to identify any national trends or gaps. No attempt has been made to assess the quality or effectiveness of the provisions, or specifically identify any strengths or weaknesses
We are providing the relevant questionnaire results and a summary of the findings for the <Name of Plan> to provide you with an opportunity to comment on the findings, and suggest any amendments where you see fit. However, we are not expecting you to go through your entire plan re-assessing it against the questionnaire provisions; it is more to check the overall findings. If you have the time, we would also appreciate it if you could briefly identify the urban design pressures facing <Name of Council>.
We would appreciate your comments on the information we have provided (via phone, email or written) by the 16th March 2009