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Living at Density in Hobsonville Point, Auckland: Resident Perceptions

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Over half of residential development in Auckland now involves attached housing types such as terraces and apartments.

This working paper presents residents’ perceptions of living at higher density in Hobsonville Point. Despite being 2-3 times the density of a typical suburb, respondents in the survey express a reasonably high level of satisfaction with their dwelling design, and the relationships with their neighbours. Of special importance are high-quality public spaces and amenities. Building schools, establishing bus and ferry services, some of the parks, the coastal walkway and making the place a destination by supporting the initial café and farmers market, all helped to promote interest and sales. There are areas for improvement however, in details of house designs, especially living spaces directly facing streets, and the lack of privacy in backyards. There are also resident concerns about increasing traffic and parking issues as the neighbourhood grows to full development, and how new demands for retail and other community services will be catered for. Overwhelmingly, the research demonstrates that housing satisfaction is strongly connected to the quality of the public realm, and how it is designed to deliver wellbeing for all residents. In the case of Hobsonville Point this required a clear vision and intention on the part of the development agency and its professional teams.

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