A research project that identifies and addresses how liveability is being achieved by medium density housing developments in New Zealand.


The Challenge

  • The aims of the project were to: 
  • Understand how livability was being achieved by medium density housing and how it could be improved. 
  • Review local and international strategy, policy and research documents relating to the liveability of MDH,
  • Identify and address the knowledge gaps relating to liveability research in New Zealand.

The Journey 

  • The project was a multi-year project and comprised four key phases;
  1. a literature review of the international and national research on liveability in medium density housing, 
  2. a review of the existing policy setting in New Zealand,
  3. interviews with the regulators of medium density housing outcomes (Councils), and
  4. surveys with residents who live in medium density housing.
  • The Wellbeing Budget (2019) was launched during the evolution of this project. This redefined a way for how liveability and well-being aligned with each other. This was then considered in the literature review and became integral to the survey and focus group questions, and the legislation and regulation review.

The Outcome

  • Insights for each phase were analysed and refined. This resulted in four recommendations:
  1. A definition of MDH liveability should be developed at a national level.
  2. Further research should be undertaken to understand the specificities of how the Building Code can influence the liveability of MDH. 
  3. Further engagement should be undertaken with industry stakeholders to clarify leadership and promotion of liveability agenda for MDH. 
  4. Industry stakeholders and research institutes should work together to address the information gaps that were identified from the research. 
  • From these outcomes, TUA has further tested the methodologies of this project to gather a robust evidence base for how to deliver livable neighbourhoods in New Zealand. This is being applied in projects in Auckland (Tamaki) and Wellington (Porirua).

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