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Typologies and Basic Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms
Sumita Ghosh & Robert Vale
a a a

Landcare Research, Crown Research Institute, Auckland, New Zealand Available online: 21 Oct 2009

To cite this article: Sumita Ghosh & Robert Vale (2009): Typologies and Basic Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms, Journal of Urban Design, 14:4, 507-536 To link to this article:

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Journal of Urban Design, Vol. 14. No. 4, 507–536, November 2009

Typologies and Basic Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms
Landcare Research, Crown Research Institute, Auckland, New Zealand

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ABSTRACT This paper presents an urban taxonomy or classification system for New Zealand settlement forms across five urban scales: metropolitan/regional, sub-metropolitan/city; community/neighbourhood; local/residential block and houses/micro. It provides taxonomical descriptions and density patterns of existing and emerging New Zealand residential urban forms at neighbourhood and local levels. Considering seven case studies in the Auckland Region, this paper formulates a set of basic quantitative urban form descriptors within the urban taxonomical framework. An analysis of these descriptors indicates that dwelling and household densities and spatial distributions of built-up roof areas, vegetation, productive land, impervious pavements and pathways reflect their urban form characteristics. These varying qualities can be linked to the appraisal of environmental sustainability performances of different urban forms.

Introduction Urban form refers to the spatial distributions of different land uses connected together with physical infrastructures and associated transport networks (Bertolini et al., 2005, p. 207; Rodrique, 2008). The land use characteristics, site layout, designs of built-up structures, development potentials, related legislation and planning policies and resident community preferences generate varied capabilities and qualities in different urban forms (Anderson et al., 1996). Current urban form and environmental sustainability research in the quest of one or more sustainable urban forms (Jenks et al., 1996; Williams et al., 2000) recognizes the increased importance of identifying various urban form typologies (Ghosh & Vale, 2006a; Ghosh, 2007) and their inter and intra urban scale interactions (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), 2007; University of Cambridge, 2008). Community behavioural patterns and location decisions of households (Anderson et al., 1996) and lifestyle choices (James & Desai, 2003, pp. 42– 44) play important roles in achieving sustainability. Improved performances also depend on the form specific potentials of various future alternative urban forms to accommodate emerging urban sustainability initiatives (Newton, 1997; Moriarty, 2002). Some examples of sustainable technologies and mechanisms include: (1) low impact urban design and development (stormwater design, swales,
Correspondence Address: Sumita Ghosh, Urban Research Centre, University of Western Sydney, Australia. Email:
1357-4809 Print/1469-9664 Online/09/040507-30 q 2009 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/13574800903265371


S. Ghosh & R. Vale

bio-retention systems; rain-gardens, rainwater tanks and wetlands) (Nassauer, 2004; Eason et al., 2005, p. 4; Pandey et al., 2005); (2) conservation subdivisions (Arendt, 2004); (3) renewable energy (Australian Greenhouse Office, 2003); (4) land-use planning and transport integration (Bertolini et al., 2005, p. 207); (5) waste reduction (Sustainability Victoria, 2005, pp. 4– 5); (6) ecologically sensitive design (Alberti & Waddle, 2000); (7) key urban design qualities (Ministry for the Environment (MfE), 2005a, pp. 18– 24; Duany, 2005); (8) sustainable buildings (Vale & Vale, 2000; Department of Communities & Local Government, 2006) and (9) life cycle analysis (LCA) of various products and systems (Centre of Design, RMIT, 2006). The inclusion of “multiple models of sustainability employed by competing urban actors” and contested multidisciplinary ideas make sustainability performance appraisal methods more complex (Guy & Marvin, 1999, p. 268). Environmental sustainability performances of different urban forms in terms of energy use could be potentially assessed (Anderson et al., 1996) by identifying a number of urban forms considering different future plausible scenarios (Newton, 1997). Urban patterns could be classified considering various urban form characteristics at different urban scales, such as: housing choices based on dwelling typologies (Auckland Regional Council, 2003); spatial land use pattern identification (Ghosh & Vale, 2006a); shape (Campbell, 2001); heritage characteristics and life expectancy of the built forms (Marling et al., 1999). For example, many urban researchers have analysed characteristics and sustainability potentials of two broad classes of urban forms: compact and sprawl (Jenks et al., 1996; William et al., 2000; Galster et al., 2001; Moriarty, 2002). Lower density urban forms or sprawl are often identified as unsustainable because of their increasing needs for energy supplies, transportation requirements and intensified use of land and provisions of infrastructure (European Environment Agency, 2006, pp. 28 – 31). On the contrary, lower density settlements are also capable of providing higher self-sufficiency through sustainability benefits from on-site supplies of inputs (Moriarty, 2002, p. 242). Questions have been being raised on the dependency of sustainable development on higher densities, its relative meaning and links to achievable sustainability advantages to their form-specific characteristics (Jenks & Dempsey, 2005, p. 287). These higher density developments with their associated advantages of reduced resource use are often presented as the “today’s visionary solution” (Guy & Marvin, 1999, p. 268) for achieving sustainable future urban forms while “the concept of higher density is entirely relative” (Jenks & Dempsey, 2005, p. 304). People’s preferences are most likely to be influenced by their lifestyle choices, and successful sustainable contributions of higher density developments could be driven by their capabilities to deliver desired quality of life for people (Jenks & Dempsey, 2005, p. 307). Urban form variables operate differently at certain levels, for example a variable, such as density could carry different meanings at various urban scales (Tsai, 2005, p. 142). The UK SOLUTIONS (Sustainability Of Land Use and Transport In Outer Neighbourhoods) project aims to investigate interactions and interdependence of different outer-city areas (suburbs, urban fringes, out-of-town developments and satellite settlements and associated integrated urban sustainability impacts from city-region down to neighbourhood scales (Gordon, 2005; University of Cambridge et al., 2008). Considering four case studies at Cambridge, London, Tyne and Wear and Bristol), different viable urban

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Both Cityform and SOLUTIONS projects indicate the significance of various urban form characteristics at different urban scales. such as aspect.Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms 509 archetypes (e. 2008). Local Government Act. focuses on developing sustainable cities (MfE. Cityform. 1999a. Auckland Regional Growth Strategy 2050. the typologies and densities (University of Cambridge et al. urban growth strategies. funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). carbon dioxide emissions and pervious and impervious surfaces in the assessment method (University of Cambridge et al. energy use. configuration and layout to the wider urban system. Ghosh & Vale. Resource Management Act 1991.. 2003. social and economic sustainability and urban forms (high density. the largest urban region of New Zealand (Regional Growth Forum (RGF). They demonstrate the importance of multiple physical factors in the sustainability assessment framework and also in connecting different spatial scales. orientation and existing built form (Auckland City Council. land intake. transport. aims to analyse interrelationships between environment. Planning policies in the Auckland Region prescribe that different housing typologies could be constructed at varying distances from the public transport nodes and growth centres. a project with the Sustainable Urban Form Consortium. 1999). The New Zealand Urban Design Protocol. 2003) while the New Zealand Urban Design Protocol recommends applications of seven urban design qualities in New Zealand’s urban areas (MfE. Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy. 2000).g. For example. An urban taxonomy with associated descriptors could provide a succinct framework. A recent OECD (2007) report on the New Zealand environment has recommended that New Zealand would be required to: reinforce national policy guidance. 2007. cluster and linear) fitting with the local conditions at local scales are suggested (University of Cambridge et al. land uses. In New Zealand. National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy. It explores the interactions of physical design. NZ Sustainable Development Programme of Action (NZSDPOA). site characteristics (topography). Regional and District Plans of territorial authorities) levels are influencing urban transformations generating significantly different environmental sustainability contributions (Ghosh. Inclusion of important quantitative factors. Auckland Regional Affordable Housing Strategy. 2008) further strengthens our environmental sustainability research approach to calculate urban sustainability at local scales.g. 2007). One of the four key issues addressed in the NZ Sustainable Development Programme of Action (NZSDPOA). bio diversity.. which could inform regional and local scale policies to facilitate or constrain particular forms Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 . also in the UK. Residential zoning guidelines in urban areas as per the Auckland City District Plan guidelines provide meaningful criteria for assessing a local residential environment considering it is specific neighbourhood characteristics. 2005. two-storey town houses and duplexes are permitted within an 800-metre to 400-metre radius of a town centre (Auckland Regional Council (ARC). 2002) and regional (e. in the Cambridge case study four forms were employed: pod. 2007). Auckland Regional Growth Strategy 2050 (ARGS) is a major future policy document to promote sustainability in the Auckland Region. a national policy promoting sustainability. cell. policies and legislation at national (e. progress regulatory efficiency and integrate environmental concerns with other areas in decision making to address environmental management challenges (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). compact and mixed use) considering 15 case studies (EPSRC.g. 2007). 2008). Part 7: Residential Activity). functions. such as new construction.. 2005a).

This paper is an output from ‘Learning Sustainability’. . The main aims of the project are to: comprehend both qualitative and quantitative interactions and interrelationships between people and the emerging urban forms from social. which may continue to influence the spatial configuration of new elements for decades and even centuries (Wegener. et al. As the complete details of the ‘framework’ including ‘potential’ and ‘performance’ aspects is not within the scope of this paper. 2006). Taxonomy provides a hierarchy in structure and is often applied to classifying living organisms (Oxford University Press. economic. Although this paper comes out of the environmental performance objective. particularly at neighbourhood and local urban scales. spatial descriptions and characteristics of these existing and emerging urban forms. Vale of developments by identifying various urban patterns. Ghosh & R.. environmental and ecological aspects. The evolutionary nature of an urban form is affected by certain long-lived elements such as buildings and infrastructure. The paper also establishes how these selected urban forms case studies could differ from each other considering their spatial patterns. Landcare Research and the University of Auckland. 2005). which will be reported in subsequent papers in the future. it is closely connected with social and other dimensions of integrated settlement sustainability as detailed in the ‘Learning Sustainability’ project (Opus International Ltd. et al. New Zealand. 2006).. The main objectives are grouped under three main headings: environmental performance. New Zealand. a Foundation for Research Science and Technology (FRST).510 S. This paper presents an urban taxonomy for New Zealand (NZ) settlement forms. This framework follows an integrated environmental sustainability approach for assessing any residential built environment. This paper presents basic urban form descriptors formulated from seven residential urban form case studies from the Auckland Region. 1986). economic. environmental and ecological perspectives. et al. therefore it is not included. regional and local policy analysis is not within the scope of this paper. 2006). Urban form descriptors for environmental sustainability assessments are formulated within a ‘context-potential-performance framework’. Detailed NZ national. therefore the details will be published in a subsequent second paper considering the same seven case studies. densities and varying physical characteristics within the urban taxonomical structure. New Zealand funded six-year research project in collaboration with OPUS International Consultants Ltd. This paper reports only on the basic urban form descriptors identified within the ‘context’ part of the ‘context-potential-performance framework’. settlement liveability and alternative urban futures (Opus International Ltd. Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Urban Taxonomy or Classification System Taxonomy is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as the branch of science concerned with a scheme of classification and originates from the Greek words taxis (‘arrangement’) and nomia (‘distribution’).. understand community perceptions on urban futures and develop integrated sustainable settlement assessment methods and design tools for alternative sustainable settlement forms for the community (Opus International Ltd.. This research project recognizes the importance of an integrated sustainability concept considering social.

Until now the predominant urban form in New Zealand has been low density. 2001) and structural characteristics of three metropolitan forms typologies (Tsai. houses one-third of the whole country’s population. 2005. Even medium density housing is a new urban pattern in New Zealand (Dixon & Dupuis. p. and landscape ecology (patch structures in a landscape along a continuum) for measuring ‘urban sprawl’ using multi-disciplinary perspectives (Knaap et al. continuity. centrality. building heights. the Auckland Region. accessibility and perceptions could provide information on improved standards for subdivision design and behavioural change towards sustainability (Knaap et al. (2001) identified eight dimensions of sprawl: density. but would require considerable changes for making it suitable for applications along a New Zealand rural-urban cross section.. but do not align this urban form research at an urban design scale. 2005). safety. Urban morphological researches have focused on identifying dimensions of ‘sprawl’ forms and comparing their characteristics with compact patterns of development. indicating a comparatively Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 . 2005) are very useful for urban morphological studies. Tsai (2005) has distinguished compactness from ‘sprawl’ for ‘mono centric’. site and building levels (Duany. At the metropolitan level. 2007). New Zealand concepts of high.g. 8). Knaap et al. provides a useful platform for formulating the urban taxonomy and an environmental sustainability performance assessment methodology for various local scale urban form typologies for New Zealand. clustering. Again. low rise and rural in character (Ghosh et al. New Zealand’s largest urban area. ‘polycentric’ and ‘decentralized sprawling’ urban forms (Tsai. urban design (blocks). Landscape ecology includes non-urban uses of land covers. Galster et al. 2003). The form based Transect is relevant for the specific development patterns in the USA.1 – 24). using simulation analyses. (2005) showed that at the metropolitan scale. while the same at the sub-metropolitan scale concentrate more on transport analysis and networks etc. e. These guidelines assume that definite zone based urban form typologies would appear at certain distances from the city centre along rural-urban cross section. community design (neighbourhoods). the ‘urban sprawl’. measurements of potential objective and subjective sustainability performances need to be tested for these development patterns in New Zealand contexts. such as transport infrastructure. environmental context. 2005. medium and low residential densities are different from international perceptions of these densities and further information is presented in Table 1 of this paper. 2001). 2005. p. (2005) classified five urban scale-based approaches: metropolitan structure (regions). mixed uses and proximity (Galster et al. 31). pp. sub-metropolitan structure (sub-areas of regions).. It recommends six (T1 – T6) zones or development patterns and provides urban design guidelines across sector.. developed by Duany. Research by Knaap et al. is a form-based rural to urban coding system for providing urban design guidelines for urban developments based on sustainable ‘New Urbanism’ principles. coherence.Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms 511 The Transect.) and objective (built form. building design. Knaap et al. solar access to buildings) measures.’s (2005) overarching analysis. urban sprawl measurements focus on population/employment. Identification of eight dimensions of sprawl (Galster et al. Some of the urban design scale metrics of urban sprawl. nuclearity.. concentration. shapes and job-housing balance etc. although for one specific urban form. The urban design scale dimensions are based on subjective qualities (people’s perceptions in experiencing space and design.. aesthetics etc.

Some of the emerging urban form typologies in the Auckland Region.512 S.5 ha. 1500 homes of different housing typologies ((MfE. 2005b.5 dwellings/hectare (MfE. 2007. 630 houses (MfE. Vale Table 1. Ghosh & R. p. Total site area: 3. 50) Total site area: 41. Papakura District Suburban Growth Node “Medium density. p. 3) Earth song. 2003).) 147 two-storey terraced dwellings (MfE. 55 Waitakere City (ARC. p. Waitakere City (MfE. 32 homes “Medium density housing” (MfE. p. 3) “Medium density” (Ghosh & Vale. green field residential development. Waitakere City Suburban Ti Rakau Drive Terrace Houses. 2007. p. Waitakere City Suburban Growth Node 56 dwellings/ hectare 60 dwellings/ hectare a significant population concentration in one region. 2007b). New Lynn. 370 residential units (MfE. p. p.62 ha. pp. 2.9 ha (approx. 2005b. 300 residential units MfE.63 ha. co-housing” (Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood. Dixon & Dupuis. 23) Total site area: 5. which have already been common built forms in many other urban areas for centuries. small and large single sections” (MfE. 2005b. 27) semi-detached houses Suburban Addison Development. p. In many of the other NZ urban areas. 2005b. 2005b: 50) “Medium-density semi-detached housing” (MfE. 4) Total site area: 84 ha. 2005b. 50) Suburban Short descriptions from references Gross density calculated Total site area and number of dwellings (dwellings/ hectare) “Medium-density attached.53 ha. such as low and high-rise apartments. Auckland City (Ghosh. Total site area: 1. Urban areas . two-level 85 attached double-storey town houses “Medium density” (Dixon & Dupuis. 2007b) “Urban eco neighbourhood. p. 2007. these built typologies are not even found. 2005c. 77) 9 dwellings/hectare Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Northwood Residential Area. East Park. New Zealand Name and location of urban development in New Zealand Harbour View. single-level attached. p. Eco neighbourhood. Manukau City Suburban Growth Node 25 dwellings/hectare (MfE. 2005b. 2005b. 2007b) Very Close to Auckland Region’s Central Business District Ambrico Place (Tuscany Towers). 39. Christchurch City Suburban 9. 18) Greenwich Park. 77) Woodbury Park. (2003) 15 dwellings/hectare 20 dwellings/hectare (MfE. 83) Total site area: 77 ha. p. master planned” (MfE. New Lynn. Densities of emerging residential developments. 18) “High density development” (Ghosh & Vale. 2000. Total site area: 5 ha. attached town houses and terrace houses are fairly recent. 2006) Total site area:1. p. 2005b.

2001) . (3) community/neighbourhood. travel to work. smaller business districts acted as satellite nodes or nuclei of activity around which land use patterns are formed (Campbell. p. 2005c. radial from the ‘sector model’ developed by Hoyt in 1939. the New Zealand built environment has an unparallel potential to test the sustainability performance of typologies before significant numbers of new urban forms are embedded into the New Zealand urban fabric. and . this classification system considers both existing and emerging NZ residential urban forms and provides a framework for categorizing urban forms. industrial and open spaces. (Campbell. such as the suburban fringe. The ‘concentric zone model’ depicts the use of urban land as a set of concentric rings. and (5) houses/microscale. carbon sequestration by vegetation cover. Urban Taxonomy for New Zealand Ghosh & Vale (2006a) have formulated a preliminary New Zealand urban taxonomy. From the community/neighbourhood scale downwards. (2) sub-metropolitan/city. These forms occur at different urban locations. Five urban scales were chosen because these scales comprehensively address all the urban form typologies across spatial dimensions. classifying built forms is a unique opportunity as many built forms are yet to be built. depending on their characteristics. emanating from the central business district (CBD) and centred on major transportation routes in a radial fashion. This classification system may have similarities to other existing built form typologies but it is formulated specifically considering New Zealand urban contexts. periurban areas or the inner city. In the New Zealand context.Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms 513 Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 of New Zealand will experience only a gradual change in density and nodal intensifications are likely to happen while the predominant land use would remain at lower density (MfE. Metropolitan/regional scale. The ‘multiple nuclei model’ considered that in larger urban areas. with each ring with a different land use with a mono centric central business district. 2001). This paper presents the outcomes of further research carried out to validate and finalize the urban taxonomy and to formulate basic descriptors linking urban form typologies considering an integrated environmental sustainability assessment approach. The ‘sector model’ theorized that cities would tend to grow in wedgeshaped patterns or sectors. residential. . 39). These different urban form typologies and the related basic descriptors are formulated with a focus to develop an integrated environmental performance assessment method considering multiple factors (domestic energy use. Therefore. Figure 1 presents the urban taxonomy or classification system that comprises five scales: (1) metropolitan/regional. This considers overall shapes of the settlements and includes broad spatial relationships among different types of urban land uses such as commercial. It groups major regional settlement patterns into three classes based on three generalized descriptive models of urban structures: mono-centric from the ‘concentric zone model’ developed by Burgess in 1920. (4) local/residential block. food and waste). These models represent level of spatial accumulation and how . Details of these five urban scales are explained later in this section. polycentric from the ‘multiple nuclei model’ developed by Harris and Ullman in 1945.

2008). Ghosh & R. Vale Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Figure 1.514 S. Urban form taxonomy/classification system urban spatial form and structure or activity systems are linked to land-use patterns and transportation activities (Rodrique. They provide useful information on a possible evolution process of a small urban area into a larger regional urban area .

2006a). 1997). compact. 2001. mainly based on settlement characteristics and population counts. 1997). 1985 and Minnery. Rodrique. This considers six city forms: low density/dispersed. while a ‘fringe’ city can accommodate additional growth predominantly on the outskirts or at the periphery. Wellington. Section 3 of the New Zealand Local Government Act 2002 (Parliamentary Counsel Office. The ‘ultra city’ has been included in the classification system as a future prospect considering the evolution of existing urban areas (Ghosh & Vale. a distinct identity and be a major centre of activity within the region. This is also beginning to happen between Wellington and Palmerston North. Smaller urban areas such as Taupo. 2007) specifies that to be defined as cities. Waitakere and North Shore and three districts. which is expected to increase to 2 million by 2030. 2008). located in the central part of the North Island. fringe and ultra. Pressman. mainly a holiday city. Statistics New Zealand’s classification of New Zealand urban areas following these criteria in 2005. 2005). Some of the main and secondary urban areas in New Zealand with a comparatively lower population (such as. Statistics New Zealand has defined a range of settlements in New Zealand. 1992 all as quoted in Australian Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering. settlements should have a minimum of four attributes: a population not less than 50 000 persons. Manukau. Within an ‘edge’ city higher densities are permitted at selected nodes. 2001. The ‘ultra’ city is defined as a provincial city within a distance of 100 kilometres of a capital city and is connected by a high-speed rail transport network (Newton. Statistics New Zealand’s classification provides an indication of variations in population distributions within New Zealand. Franklin. 1977. Therefore. Auckland. could be classified as a ‘compact’ city because its hilly topography limits expansion. while Franklin. These forms have already been defined by previous researches (Gibson. is growing around the main tourist attraction. is typified by the Auckland Region with 1 158 891 people (Statistics New Zealand. 2006a). 1997. Gisborne (32 800). . 2001). corridor. In future it may be possible that rapid transit links between Auckland CBD and Hamilton city (located approximately 120 kilometres from Auckland) and other near by urban areas would allow daily commuting as observed in many other metropolitan regions of the world. Each of the four cities. these three models of settlement forms would fit appropriately as three basic archetypal forms in the taxonomy at metropolitan scale for New Zealand. the capital city of New Zealand. Sub-metropolitan/city scale. Three urban scales classified below the sub-metropolitan/city level consider specifically the New Zealand residential developments (Ghosh & Vale. edge. Lake Taupo and along State Highway 1 in a ‘corridor’ fashion. chapter 5) and also have been considered as six alternative urban future scenarios at the city scale for Australia (Newton. A polycentric urban region in a New Zealand context comprising at least 1 million inhabitants. categorized a total of 16 main urban areas with population ranging from 1 241 600 (Auckland Region) to 32 800 (Gisborne) and a further 14 secondary urban areas (Statistics New Zealand. Waitakere is a suburban ‘edge’ city. Papakura and Rodney have different urban forms that are agglomerated together in the Auckland Region. Greymouth (9560) are gradually changing and could be fitted to either concentric or radial form of settlement patterns depending on the extent and spatial characteristics.Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms 515 Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 or agglomeration of smaller urban areas over time and are widely accepted by urban form researchers (Campbell. predominantly urban. Papakura and Rodney are lifestyle based ‘fringe’ urban areas.

high density (attached multifamily units or medium to high-rise apartments). Christchurch. Most of the new residential developments will be under either the suburban or the inner city or close to inner-city categories and could be further sub-categorized according to their layout and built form typologies. major commercial nodes and transportation arteries such as public transport provisions. medium density (detached and semi-detached townhouses. This scale has been introduced in the taxonomy because a significant number of residential development projects are implemented at this level (Ghosh & Vale. The suburban and inner-city/close to inner city categories are further divided into eight and four sub-categories respectively based on density and zoning (Figure 1). Ghosh & R. 2007. for example.516 S. while location includes distances from the central business district. Vale Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Community/neighbourhood scale. (2) historic. This considers dwelling density. The volcanic classification is a type unique to the Auckland Region as this urban region is built on volcanic cones and contains existing residential urban developments on the slopes of the cones. an appropriate composite urban form typology as per the urban taxonomy for New Zealand. New Zealand comprises two islands and has significant length of land areas along the coastline. topography. Local/residential block scale. An existing medium density residential development on the slope of a volcanic cone may contain heritage buildings with a historic pattern of development at a suburban location. 2006a). . As an island nation. 226). p. site layout and others. which includes various patterns of residential developments. The system classifies these areas into five basic types: (1) suburban. a single detached residential dwelling could house a single household while a double storey housing unit could accommodate multiple households in a single building sharing different or similar size units and common facilities such as staircase and driveways. This development pattern could be classified as ‘suburban-medium density-volcanic and heritage’. House(s)/ micro scale. character and location (Ghosh. Ghosh & Vale.) have historic heritage buildings in the inner city areas. 2006a). This form constitutes the basic level in the New Zealand residential taxonomy. Characters may consider aspects such as landform. This scale has three categories: low density (detached large single dwelling and co-housing or eco-housing). (3) volcanic. (4) coastal and (5) inner city/close to inner city. An existing urban form could have a combination of two or more basic physical characteristics. residential developments around Mt Eden Village in Auckland City. A single house to a few houses with shared built typology and common facilities could be identified within this scale. architectural style. zoning and residential form linked to the urban design scale and could contain a population ranging from 150 to 650 people or 50 to 200 households (Ghosh. Wellington etc. This considers the urban forms containing population ranging from 5000 to 10 000 people or 1200 to 3000 households based on heritage. and . detached infill housing. . co-operative/ eco-housing and gated communities). The housing stocks in Ponsonby in the Auckland Region contain heritage villas from the Edwardian and Victorian era and many other cities (Dunedin. 2004. For example. .

they do not include the residential urban forms considering whole development scales and their immediate environs. 2003. ‘Suburban’ includes home unit and townhouses (16 – 24 du/ha). The Earthsong development is focused on minimizing environmental impacts through waste reduction. Ranui. such as ‘medium density medium rise’ or ‘medium density medium rise mixed’. Waitakere City. site layout and built up features at a local/residential block scale and building types at a house/micro scale. p. Addison takes a more urban design oriented approach to achieve sustainability (MfE. 2007. 9). local food production and adapting to sustainable lifestyles (Ghosh & Vale. The research here has calculated gross dwelling densities of seven selected urban case studies considering existing patterns of developments at the local/ residential scale from aerial photographs using ArcGIS and simple mathematical methods (see Table 3). 2003). ‘Urban’ includes high (80þ dwelling units (du)/hectare (ha)). suburban and rural. Auckland Regional Council classified housing choices of different dwelling typologies and specified gross neighbourhood densities under a location based system: urban. 2007. 2000. Therefore. Takanini. The NZ urban taxonomy framework includes an associated set of basic descriptors that take into account spatial land use distribution. small-lot suburban house (12 –18 du/ha) and conventional suburban homes (8 – 12 du/ha) (Auckland Regional Council. 8). These forms could also be dissimilar in environmental sustainability performances because environmental impacts of transport would be different for suburban urban forms compared to the inner-city patterns for their respective variations in travel distances. The calculated densities of dwellings per hectare and urban form characteristics described as ‘medium density’ vary not only across a range of densities (low. p. this urban taxonomy framework differs from the related framework developed by the Auckland Regional Council that prescribed residential form descriptions based on building types and dwelling densities (Auckland Regional Council. As these categories are focused on dwelling typology descriptions and choices. 353). Papakura District and Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood. Auckland City. 29) Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 . which are important for assessing integrated neighbourhood sustainability. 2007). rainwater use. While the Greenwich Park development presents a case of residential intensification (Ghosh & Vale. terrace houses (25 – 40 du/ha) and mixed use residential and business (30þ du/ha) housing choices. In addition to these. p. p. 2003). urban design qualities. Grafton. Ghosh & Vale (2007) further examined the local environmental sustainability of three emerging urban residential developments at: Greenwich Park. solar water heater use. The density scales make a sharp distinction between urban and suburban categories and do not take account of urban forms with similar density patterns and characters in both the urban and suburban locations. The ARC’s intensification guide (ARC. urban form characteristics at a community/neighbourhood scale.Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms Basic Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Taxonomical Urban Forms Density Patterns in New Zealand 517 In 2003. medium to high) but also within a single density scale. and in addition associated interpretations differ. Medium density housing is a new form of development compared to single detached conventional houses in New Zealand (Dixon & Dupuis. Addison. medium (452 80 du/ha) and low (30 – 50 du/ha) rise apartments. Densities of some emerging residential developments in NZ are presented in Table 1.

total floor areas and materials of construction. The descriptions for the same urban form at a local scale as ‘single family single or double storey detached large houses with ample open spaces around the houses and large lot sizes’ would classify its subcategory as ‘Low density—detached large single dwellings’. 2005b. p. an urban form could be identified as ‘Suburban—low density low rise’. In spite of Auckland Regional Council’s classified housing choices. At a micro scale. urban design characteristics and building types—could generate scale based suitable classifications for various urban forms. and location: within or close to the CBD. 21). but as the ‘medium density housing’ in the Ministry for the Environment’s urban design case studies (MfE. The three main underlying attributes—spatial distributions. p. it was essential to formulate an urban taxonomy for New Zealand and to identify form specific descriptions and density standards for different urban patterns within this taxonomical framework at a neighbourhood or whole development scale. to show differences in their form characteristics. The residential housing forms of ‘Eco-neighbourhood’ and ‘Suburban medium density’ (Figures 3 and 4) may look similar at the . 50). significant impervious areas for driveways for parking and shared community services. very little natural open space and vegetation. 2005. recreated landscaped courts. functional design. Therefore. Density has been established as an important concept for determining development standards and indeed it has a relative meaning (Jenks & Dempsey. its sub-categorization at the residential block/local scale and considering further details at the micro scale. an ‘Inner city or close to inner city—high density medium rise’ urban form is described as: two to seven storey medium/small size attached/semi detached housing units or residential apartments. pp.518 S. 287. Ghosh & R. density: high. 2005b. at a neighbourhood scale. The Harbourview is described as a ‘medium density’ development (MfE. Descriptions Figure 2 presents typical plans and photographic and three-dimensional representations of two residential types. For example. ‘detached single dwelling’ would include its architectural characters and styles. the specific building type. It requires determining an appropriate urban form classification at the community/neighbourhood scale. This urban taxonomy has formulated detailed urban form descriptions for each category of residential urban forms. although its calculated gross dwelling density of nine dwellings per hectare suggest that it would be more appropriate to classify this as a ‘low density’ development. New Zealand Residential Urban Form Descriptions at the Neighbourhood Scale This NZ urban taxonomy framework can identify characteristics of a specific urban form following a top-down process across three urban scales. dwelling units 40þ to 80 du/ha. 304). such as. For example. Vale Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 described the East Park development in the Manukau City as a ‘higher density housing’. Table 2 presents the residential NZ taxonomical urban form descriptions at the neighbourhood scale. there is no common terminology for identifying a development following a common density standard related to specific urban form characteristics.

shared services in the subdivisions. includes outdoor living. large impervious areas neighbourhood centre for driveways and parking. grass swales. very limited open space and vegetation. town and floor or first floor. photo-voltaic modules. far away from CBD. large lot sizes. permeable paving. equivalent 15þ to 25 du/ha. offices at ground distance or close to any town and neighbourhood floor or first floor. offices at ground maximum 800 m from any subregional. very good tree canopy and grass cover and less pavement areas Eco-neighbourhoods Self-sufficient neighbourhoods with low impact urban design technology Low to medium. larger paved/ impervious areas and longer driveways Medium density mixed Double to three-storeyed attached/semi-attached medium size housing units or Medium. bio retention tanks. ample Low. Neighbourhood-scale New Zealand residential urban form descriptions Gross Density (dwelling units (du)/ha) & location Category Descriptions SUBURBAN Papakainga Low density. older areas have a good tree canopy cover but new development have comparatively less or no tree canopy cover. water collection from municipal supply. gardens and play areas all integrated together Low density low rise Single family single or double-storeyed detached large houses dispersed. 15þ to 25 du/ha. limited open space and vegetation. equivalent 15þ to 25 du/ha within 400 m to apartments in combination with other land uses such as shops. moderate apartments in combination with other land uses such as shops. at the open spaces around the houses. limited amount of available productive land for food production. 15 du/ha or below. moderate open spaces around the houses. large impervious areas for centre driveways and parking. at applied—rain tanks. significant amount of available urban periphery or fringe productive land for food production. moderate distance to any town and neighbourhood centre houses built close to each other. Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms 519 Medium density mixed nodal Two to six-storeyed attached/semi-attached. at suburban edges Traditional Maori residential settlement form (pa). use of suburban edges renewable energy—solar water heater. communal gathering places.Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Table 2. appropriate design of building and community adhere to sustainable behaviour practices Medium density residential Single family single/double storeyed detached/semi attached large/ medium Medium. 15 du/ha or below to 25 du/ha. shared services of the subdivision . medium/small size housing units or Medium. medium to smaller lot sizes.

at close distance to any subregional. offices. educational CBD. almost no natural open space and vegetation. shared services High. very limited natural open spaces and vegetation. 40þ to 80 du/ha. 25þ to 40 du/ha. within the CBD High density medium rise mixed In addition to above are found in combination with other land uses such as shopping arcades. equivalent 25þ to 40 du/ha. Ghosh & R. within very close to the combination with other land uses such as shopping arcades. within or very close to the CBD residential apartments. (continued) Gross Density (dwelling units (du)/ha) & location Category Descriptions S. town and neighbourhood centre High density medium rise mixed In addition to above characteristics of high density medium rise residential. 80þ du/ha.Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 520 Table 2. town and neighbourhood centre courts. significant impervious areas for driveways and parking. educational institutes or training institutes INNER CITY/CLOSE TO INNER CITY High density medium rise Two to seven-storeyed medium/small size attached/semi-attached housing units High. roof gardens. covered parking at basement or ground. offices. equivalent 80þ du/ha. very high impervious areas at ground. offices. recreated landscaped courts at ground or upper levels. institutes or training institutes . Vale High density medium rise residential Two to four-storeyed attached/semi attached medium/small size housing units or High. at close distance to any apartments. shared services High. no natural open spaces and vegetation. recreated landscaped courts. educational institutes or training institutes High-density high rise Above seven-storeyed/ multi-storeyed sky scrapers with medium/small size High. within or very close to the CBD residential or residential apartments. equivalent 40þ to 80 du/ha. this type is found in combination with other land uses such as shopping arcades. shared services High density high rise mixed In addition to above characteristics of high density high rise. this type is found in High. significant impervious areas for driveways and parking. recreated landscaped subregional.

. Suburban low density and low rise and inner city or close high density medium rise NZ urban forms. Drawings by Sumita Ghosh and 3D drawings by Boffa Miskell. Source: Photographs by Sumita Ghosh.Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms 521 Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Figure 2.

Vale Figure 3. but at a residential block/local scale their environmental sustainability performances could be very different because of the ability of the ‘ Eco-neighbourhoods’ to include additional sustainability features such as on-site community food production. Eco-neighbourhood and local scale. based on information from Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood (2006). common laundry and kitchen etc. national and local (Ghosh et al. renewable energy generation. Assessment Tools and Framework Indicators and Tools Sustainability indicators provide an understanding of our ‘urban scorecard’ and comparative performance. possible ways to promote best practice in all aspects of urban development.522 S. common service provisions (e. Indicators could be developed at three spatial levels: global. Sustainability Indicators. 2006a). Ghosh & R. Figures 3 –6 present some suburban and inner city residential urban form categories from the NZ urban taxonomy. and response (policy measures taken for solution) (MfE. Suburban: medium density residential: neighbourhood and local scale. Photographs by Sumita Ghosh.. Figure 4. and a means of monitoring progress towards sustainability (Commonwealth of Australia. 1997. state (the present status). Three-dimensional visualizations could provide important understanding of urban design qualities and typical patterns of different urban forms. Drawing and photograph by Sumita Ghosh. p. . 6). Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 house(s)/micro scale. The common OECD ‘pressure-state-response model’ or framework for developing sustainability indicators follows a three-step process: driving force (the cause).g.) and collective sustainable lifestyle choices. 2005).

such as transport policy formulation to improve the public transport network and frequency of service to enhance public transport use (MfE. Drawing by Sumita Ghosh and 3D drawing by Boffa Miskell. Examples include Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) (New South Wales Government. such as increasing use of motor vehicles escalating air pollution (MfE. The formulation of tools at both neighbourhood and local scales needs to consider complex issues related to varying density patterns. ‘State’ is an impact or condition as a result of pressure. ‘LEED for Neighborhood Development’ (LEED-ND) (CNU. 6). ‘Pressure’ could refer to human activities. 6). p. p. 2008) and (BREEAM) (Building Research Establishment Ltd (BRE). LEED Green Building Rating System (US Green Building Council (USGBC). Measurement. 1997. .Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms 523 Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Figure 5. 2008). such as higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the air while ‘Response’ is the policy formulation for the implementation of actions and improvement of the environment. There are comparatively limited sustainability assessment tools that exist or are currently under development at the neighbourhood and local scales. nner city high density high rise: neighbourhood scale and typical plan. 2008). Photograph and drawing by Sumita Ghosh. A review of sustainability assessment tools reveals that most existing tools are applied at the building scales. 2005) and the ‘Tool for Urban Sustainability—Code of Practice’ (TUSC) rating systems (Waitakere City Council and the Ministry for the Environment. acting as a source for altering the environmental quality. 2008). Suburban: medium density residential mixed: typical plan and 3D-visualisation. assessment and reporting using sustainability assessment tools could provide important indications of urban sustainability. urban form and land Figure 6. Examples include. 1997. NRDC and USGBC.

open space per capita and energy use in kWh per capita per year. Therefore it is essential to formulate a new context-potential-performance framework to measure specifically sustainability performances of different urban forms. 2005). 320). considering their spatial characteristics. and their sustainability potentials in terms of their abilities to accommodate alternative models of future sustainable urban form within the spatial frameworks of different urban patterns. The context-potential-performance framework for environmental assessment could provide a systematic structure required to assess the sustainability of built environments. can reduce ecological footprint by 22% (Vale & Dixon. 42 –44) indicates lifestyle choices could significantly reduce ecological footprints. such as road space per capita. p. while ‘potential’ identifies the abilities of these urban forms to accommodate alternative environmentally sustainable technologies for future urban forms. ‘Context’ refers to the spatial patterns and physical parameters of various urban forms. lifestyle choices of community. Analysis of the BedZED data shows that if we alter the built environment. Ecological footprint calculations are based on a finite productive land area and water area is needed to sustain human demand and waste output within nature’s bio-capacity (Wackernagel & Rees. As behavioural performance can make the potentially larger impact towards sustainability. Vale use characteristics.. 2000.. it is appropriate for an environmental assessment when a specific environmental problem is identified and then its subsequent effects when the state of the environment and policy initiatives are analysed (Pearce & Barbier. While these descriptors are very similar to quantitative sustainability indicators in functional terms. 320). 2002. Ghosh & R. 6. land-use patterns. without altering the built environment. but changing how we live. potential to accommodate different localized sustainable technologies and post-occupancy evaluation of actual resident community behaviour and built environment usage patterns. Dalal-Clayton et al. urban design. descriptors are defined as the quantitative physical parameters that could be measured to identify the differences and similarities in urban form characteristics. including behaviour. p. The urban descriptors formulated in this research follow the ‘context-potential-performance framework’. the application of a PSR framework is limited and not suitable for this research. 2003. Data from the Bio Regional Development Group’s research on five possible lifestyle scenarios in conventional and carbon neutral (BedZED) developments in the UK (James & Desai. In this paper. 2002. Context-Potential-Performance Assessment Framework The research here is focused on determining objectively the comparative sustainability performances of various urban form typologies. p. Therefore. pp. energy efficiency and many other related factors. it can reduce ecological footprint by 11%. It could integrate all aspects of sustainability performances of various urban forms across the whole process of designing and functioning. ‘Performance’ demonstrates monitoring of actual environmental sustainability performance of an urban form in a post-occupancy period considering resident community behavioural patterns and their lifestyle choices. it must be added to the ‘performance’ part of the Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 . 1996). A pressure-state-response (PSR) framework follows holistic cause-effect-social response logic (Dalal-Clayton et al.524 S. the descriptors differ from many sustainability indicators because they do not follow the pressure-state-response model. As this research is not based on identifying an environmental problem or driver.

Further research on this has already formulated the ‘context-potential-performance’ framework. North Shore and Waitakere) and three districts (Franklin. This paper identifies and analyses only the ‘context’. ‘response’ could be added to this framework for appropriate policy formulation and for implementation both at ‘potential’ and ‘performance’ stages of the framework. the first step towards identifying various physical characteristics of various urban forms and the basic descriptors using a GIS based measurement method for seven case studies from the Auckland Region. Papakura and Rodney). Richmond Road. elected seven urban form case studies: subdivision layouts. it is not included and will be presented in a subsequent paper. Figure 7. Manukau. As it is not within the scope of this paper. Grafton. Sandringham Road. Source: Auckland City Council (1999b) . Figure 7 presents the urban form layouts of the selected seven urban form case studies. Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Applying the Descriptors of Residential Urban Forms The Auckland Region comprises four cities (Auckland. A fourth step. Methuen Road. Seven residential case studies at New Lynn. New Zealand. Glen Innes and Wellington Street were selected from the Auckland Region.Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms 525 framework.

2007). 2006a). 19). Ghosh & Vale. 2007. it is possible that selection criteria incorporating more attributes of local sustainability could be added to strengthen further research (Ghosh et al. Close to the inner city: High density medium rise—Grafton .0 metres (Auckland City Council. 1999a. Residential 8 is a high density zoning for compact developments in strategic growth areas such as growth nodes and it has two sub-categories. Residential 1 is a heritage zoning with a permitted density of one unit per 400 m2 while Residential 5 is a low density zoning with 1– 2 storey detached houses with generous open spaces around the houses. with subsequent sub-categories under some zoning patterns. while the Residential 8b zone permits a higher residential density up to one unit per 100 m2 and a maximum height of 14.526 S. p. For example. A14 –A18).. allows multi-family dwellings and has two sub-categories: 7a (permitted maximum height limit of 10 metres) and 7b (permitted maximum height limit of 12.0 metres.. Ghosh & R. and total number of households and household density patterns relate to specific urban form typologies and residential occupancy patterns (Ghosh et al. proximity to transport and shopping. Part 7. the classification of these case studies at community/neighbourhood scale is shown below. Residential 6 is the most significant medium density residential zoning with two sub-categories: 6a (permitted density one unit per 375 m2 with allowable maximum height 8 metres) and 6b (permitted density one unit per 300 m2 allowable maximum height 10 metres). . These seven urban case study forms could be categorized across community/neighbourhood and local/ residential block scales in the New Zealand context. which is within the jurisdiction of Waitakere City. New Lynn is zoned as ‘Living Environment 1’ with minimum each subdivision area not less than 400 square metres (m2) per dwelling (Waitakere City Council. However. The Auckland City District Plan Operative 1999 has eight zoning categories in total. . Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Methodology Selection of case studies. site configuration. 2003). residential zoning. Site configurations connect to site layout design of the selected urban form case studies. The residential zoning patterns according to the district plan guidelines represent regulatory development controls administered by the local authorities to direct the nature of current and future urban form development. Transport accessibilities of the case studies are measured through distances from the city centre (CBD) and proximity to the main transport corridors and shopping facilities. total number of households (ranging between 50 and 200) and household density per hectare (Ghosh et al. Similarly.. Vale District Plan Zoning Categories All case studies are located in Auckland City except New Lynn. high-intensity zoning. 2006b. Selection criteria for these seven urban case studies include: distance from the city centre. According to the current Waitakere City District Plan.5 metres). The Residential 8a zone allows a residential density up to one unit per 150 m2 and a maximum height of 11. Residential 7. Community/neighbourhood scale: Suburban: Low density low rise—New Lynn. Methuen Road and Glen Innes Suburban: Medium density medium rise—Sandringham Road and Richmond Road . Suburban: High density medium rise—Wellington Street .

Methuen Road. Sandringham Road. Rapid visual survey and photographic accounting were undertaken in order to comprehend the three-dimensional nature of the urban fabric and its respective urban design qualities. Richmond Road and Wellington Street) with aerial photographs from 1994 (Ghosh. the predominant existing development patterns were identified for the case studies. for a particular year. Calculations. Total numbers of plots/subdivisions were calculated for the case studies. However.9 persons per household. It is very interesting to note the variations of overall average plot sizes in these urban forms. Predominant existing development patterns identified in New Lynn. 1996 and 2001) at mesh block levels. Following this. Land use pattern: spatial analysis. Data collection. and overall average plot sizes in square metres were obtained by dividing total site area. except road area. similar analyses for two other urban forms (Glen Innes and Grafton) with aerial photographs from 2002 were conducted (Ghosh & Vale. Sandringham Road has three: Residential 6a (medium intensity). 2004). The district plan specifies zoning for the Grafton study area as Residential 8 and does not indicate any sub-categorization. These case studies could contain one or more than one mesh block within their site boundaries. potential total household numbers were estimated considering total number of households from Statistics New Zealand census data (1996 and 2001). 6b (medium intensity) and 7a (high intensity) zoning patterns. Most of the household. the current built up structures of this compact form include attached town houses with two storeys which resemble the characteristics of sub-category Residential 8a. The calculated values of overall average plot/subdivision areas for all case studies are presented in Table 3. For example. New Lynn with density of 10 dwellings per hectare has comparatively larger overall average plot size of 880 m2/ plot than Glen Innes with 12 dwellings per hectare at 762 m2/ plot. Considering district plan zoning categories and existing patterns of developments. The average household size adopted for the Auckland Region for this study is 2. population and relevant quantitative data for the case studies were collected from the Statistics New Zealand census data (Statistics New Zealand. Total existing land use distributions in hectares and the basic land use distribution descriptors in square metres are calculated per average household for the Auckland Region in the . This urban area is currently under plan modification by the Auckland City Council. The dwelling densities were calculated per hectare considering total number of dwellings calculated from the census data and aerial photographs for a particular year. population growth rate and available built up areas.Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms 527 Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 The District Plans indicate one or sometimes more than one zoning pattern in the selected case studies. 2006a). Spatial pattern analyses were conducted using Geographic Information System (GIS) for five residential case study urban forms (New Lynn. whereas the medium density urban form Sandringham Road and low density New Lynn have similar values of overall average plot/subdivision sizes. Other useful data was collected from research reports and publications. Methuen Road and Glen Innes are ‘low density’ while the same in Sandringham Road and Richmond Road are ‘medium density’ and Wellington Street and Grafton have high density urban form characteristics. Similarly. by the total number of plots/subdivisions.

of plots 44 185 Average plot area (m2) except road 880 762 Total estimated nos. generous open spaces around dwelling and long driveways Single and semidetached houses and housing units. off-street parking. semi-detached houses.72 3. pedestrian access Attached double terrace and single storey. small private courtyards and very short driveway Medium density Medium rise Medium density Medium rise (Heritage) High density Medium rise Inner city/Close to inner city High density Medium rise Attached double storied town houses. moderate front and rear open spaces and shorter driveways Sandringham Road 5–6 Residential 6a.56 101 264 103 29 2.Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Table 3. EdwardianVictorian character houses.13 65 337 65 21 3. generous open spaces around dwelling and long driveways Residential Urban Form case studies 8–9 Residential 5 and 6a New Lynn Glen Innes Methuen Road Distance to CBD (km) 9 – 10 8–9 District Plan zoning categories 1994 Living Environment 1 Plan change Residential 5. Vale Local/ Residential Block scale Large detached houses. of dwellings 53 185 Dwelling density/ hectare 10 12 .77 118 215 118 43 Site area in hectares (ha) 5. common open spaces.2 Residential 7a Richmond Road Wellington Street Single storey.5 Total nos. detached. Basic descriptors of urban forms Low density Low rise Large single semidetached houses.2 Residential 8 Currently under plan modifications 1994 2002 528 Urban form Neighbourhood/ Community scale Suburban Low density Low rise Low density Low rise S. generous open spaces around dwelling and long driveway Large detached houses. small private courtyards and common open spaces and driveways Grafton .27 15. 6b and 7a 1994 1994 Residential 1 2–3 . gated communities.25 63 1119 115 14 108 16 885 59 6. Ghosh & R. 6a & 7b to 8a & 8b Data year 1994 2002 ESTIMATED BASIC DESCRIPTORS 8.

6267 228 119 122 65 104 106 0.3103 Road space area: Total (hectares) m2/ household 2.Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 Total estimated 53 nos.4331 0.9691 Built up roof cov.5125 0.71134 2.35114 0.595 1.5279 1.297 1.6258 Built-up roof area: Total (hectares) m2/ household 1.299 0.4% Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms *Note: Average household size of the Auckland Region 2.2102 0. of households* 1.6294 1.065 0.4% 24.4% 22.13.1726 1.4256 1.5% erage as a % of total site area (%) 15.6134 0.9 people per household.6498 0.8380 0.9486 0.461 0.8% 17.6755 0.87133 0. Source: Ghosh (2004).1% 27.1% 1.1110 1.1615 Impervious areas: Total (hectares) m2/ household 2.0167 1.94144 0.1189 2.2322 Vegetation area: Total (hectares) m2/ household 1.8986 0.6133 1.7138 0. Ghosh & Vale (2006) 529 .1181 1.876 Productive/Open land area: Total (hectares) m2/ household 19.

270). paved and unpaved pathways and existing vegetation cover (trees and shrubs). New Lynn at 10 dwellings/ha. The calculated built up roof areas per household for low density low rise (New Lynn. The basic descriptors include household density per hectare. road areas (including half of the site perimeter road width). Basic descriptors: case studies. p. 358). impervious. Figure 8 presents land use pattern for Glen Innes. For example. and (b) ‘productive land use’ including: remaining open spaces (Ghosh et al. vegetation cover. Ghosh & R. Considering all these seven case studies together. 2006a. built up area. has 256 m2 of road space per household. Two main land use categories were calculated for each residential urban form case studies: (a) ‘non-productive land use’ including: total roof areas of buildings. As a household is the important basic block of human resource use. 2006a). while the lowest density urban form. basic descriptors were calculated and are presented in Table 3.. low density low rise Glen Innes. Discussions Table 3 quantifies various aspects of different urban form characteristics. and productive or open land) areas in square metres per household.530 S. the descriptors determined per household could provide an effective demonstration of important variations between different physical characteristics of urban forms. 2004. percentage of built up roof coverage and total and different land uses (built up roof. dwelling density per hectare. zoning and location and estimated basic descriptors for the seven case studies. vegetation cover. Ghosh & Vale. Vale seven case studies.. overall average plot area in square metres. Land use pattern analyses for the case studies were conducted for their total site area. road area. 2007. paved driveways and built impervious or paved courtyards. less than any other except high density medium rise Grafton at 22 m2/household. has only 61 m2 of road space per household. Impervious areas include pedestrian pathways. Land use pattern: Glen Innes . p. Methuen Road) and medium density medium rise (Sandringham Figure 8. Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 The terms ‘productive’ and ‘non-productive’ refer to the potential of varying spatial distribution patterns of the land contributing towards varying sustainability performance of different residential urban forms (Ghosh et al. at 12 dwellings/ha. such as densities. impervious areas and productive or open land areas in hectares (Ghosh.

2004) and increased storm water infiltration from porous land surfaces (Hasse & Nuissl. due to the size and shape Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 . increasing storm water run-off quantity. improved storm water quality. Gupta developed a GIS based ‘The DECoRUM’ tool to measure the domestic energy use and baseline carbon dioxide emissions from individual dwellings which are then aggregated to provide an estimate of total emissions at street. flexible solar access zones and lot width (SEDA. A development scale tool ‘Solar Access for Lots (SAL)’ by Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA). which considered 318 dwellings. The total available solar efficient roof areas oriented within 45 degrees on either side of north were estimated. indicated that 72% of the dwellings could accommodate a solar hot water system with 4 m2 area and 75% dwellings were suitable for 1kWp solar PV system (Gupta. declining storm water run-off quality and slowing down evapotranspiration capacity (Hasse & Nuissl. Impervious areas. higher pollutant removal. Higher available productive land areas signify higher possibilities of local food production reducing ‘food miles’ (Norberg-Hodge. Sydney. 2006). p. The physical parameters of different urban patterns relate to their respective sustainability benefits and potentials. 2006). 2006). Ghosh & Vale used this case study to calculate potential solar energy contributions and CO2 savings assuming the use of solar panels on existing roofs. Higher vegetation or tree cover indicates possibilities of multiple environmental and ecological benefits of improved air quality. 2007. 2007). reduced heat island effects.4% of the total existing roof areas of the houses could be described as ‘solar efficient’. An Oxford case study at a neighbourhood scale conducted by Gupta. Examination showed that 27. solar energy utilization potential of these roofs were estimated for both full and partial utilization scenarios. 2006b) and roof rain water harvesting potential (Vale & Ghosh. To illustrate the potential sustainability implications of the taxonomy/ descriptors the paper will now discuss the example of solar energy.Typologies and Descriptors of New Zealand Residential Urban Forms 531 Road and Richmond Road) are similar. The orientation and areas of ‘built up roof’ of different residential environments at development scales could provide important measures of their on site solar generation capabilities using solar water heater and photovoltaic (PV) modules (Ghosh & Vale. NSW uses a lot labelling methodology using star rating (1 star to 5 stars) to assess good solar access to lots or plots or subdivisions considering solar orientation and access. 2007). increased carbon storage and carbon dioxide sequestration capabilities (American Forests. In 2006. such as paved driveways. surfaces and road areas indicate surface sealing which will have critical impacts in reducing ground water recharge. Assuming placement of solar hot water units and photovoltaic modules on these available solar efficient roof areas. The research showed different results for NZ conventional low density suburban residential development. However. Further research has been carried out on the Glen Innes case study urban form. Higher availability of productive land areas is associated with low density low rise urban forms compared to medium density medium rise and high density medium rise at various suburban nodes and close to inner-city locations. Impervious area per household for Grafton is equal to 76 m2/ household which is a lot higher than the two medium density medium rise developments (Sandringham Road has 55 m2/household and Richmond Road has 26 m2/household) and not significantly lower compared to the low density low rise Glen Innes at 86 m2/household. In 2006. 2008). district or urban scales (Gupta. 4). which is also a physical characteristic of an urban form.

Form-specific sustainability guidelines would be required at a local scale to retrofit existing buildings and to develop new environmentally responsive urban forms. The lower density developments with larger single detached houses could have sufficient roof areas to generate enough solar electricity to satisfy the demand for the residents.5% of domestic energy requirements for a full utilization scenario and 69% of that for a partial utilization scenario which could deliver 1. high density development would need to supplement required photovoltaic panels for solar energy generation at alternative locations considering particular form specific characteristics. meaning that 42% of the solar efficient roof areas would be lost due to inappropriate roof designs. 2006b. In terms of actual performance. p. the residential roof-tops could contribute up to 82. new comprehensive sets of urban descriptors could be formulated for various urban form typologies at neighbourhood and local scales. and therefore has a comparatively lower potential for solar generation from roofs when calculated on a household basis. 2008. Grid connected PV panels that could generate more than demand. whereas the high density development at Grafton has only roof area of 58 m2 per household. for example. Therefore. and roof forms and their orientations. Thus actual sustainability performance in terms of potential solar efficiency is not yet making any meaningful contribution to the local environmental sustainability performance of Glen Innes. with minimal changes in roof configuration. Conclusions The measurement of an urban form at a neighbourhood scale is relatively new. could supply back the surplus electricity to the network (BCSE. Vale Downloaded by [Orta Dogu Teknik Universitesi] at 09:33 11 March 2012 of available solar panels. 223). In order to allow enhanced solar energy generation in higher density developments. such as the characteristics of low and medium density forms. 2007) and also as building integrated photovoltaic (BiPV) modules. additional solar photovoltaic panels could be installed on the building facades. 8) to obtain renewable energy generation benefits. in the mixed use Kogarah town centre. such as the characteristics of medium density medium rise and medium density high rise urban forms and could also differ between categories. Melbourne (The Office of Housing. using the context-potentialperformance framework. p. Ghosh & R. In future. Enhanced potential solar contributions and CO2 savings with changes in roof configurations using a gable end roof rather than a hip roof were also estimated.4 tons of carbon dioxide reduction potential per capita per year (Ghosh & Vale. Sydney. The low density development at Glen Innes with its roof area of 103 m2 per household can achieve this potential. Australia (Kogarah Council. the buildings realistically could use only 58% of the total available solar efficient roof areas.532 S. Potential descriptors could function as benchmarks for environmental . The outcomes suggest that except for space conditioning. medium and high density) types of local scale residential case studies suggest that appropriate site layouts and physical design characteristics of urban forms for all densities are very important to understand their respective environmental sustainability potential. 2007). The implications from these basic descriptors formulated in the context of three (low. available solar efficient roof areas in the Glen Innes conventional low density urban form are not currently used for generating solar electricity or for solar water heating. Sub-categories of different urban forms classified under one category could vary among themselves. as observed in the K2 apartments.

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