Welcome to the Building Better Homes, Towns & Cities National Science Challenge
The National Science Challenges are designed to find solutions to some of the large, complex issues that matter most to us.
Why a Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC) Challenge?
Housing is a fundamental human need. Every person is involved in housing, but we have needs and wants beyond simply a roof over our heads. A home should nurture and protect us. It should be hospitable. It should be dry, warm and insulated to keep us healthy. It should have clean air and sunlight. And it should be part of a community or built environment that also nurtures and protects us.
However, there are significant difficulties in
Challenge Vision - Ka ora kainga rua: Built environments that build communities
Challenge Mission - Manaaki tangata: Co-created innovative research that helps transform people’s dwellings into homes and communities that are hospitable, productive and protective.
Rangatahi: Perceptions of housing and papakāinga
04 December 2018: The Rangatahi Ahu within the Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua research programme recently led three wānanga in Kaikohe, Auckland, and Dunedin. The Rangatahi Ahu engaged particularly with young Māori around their aspirations for and perceptions of housing. James Berghan, Maia Ratana, and Jackie Paul made a video summary of their thoughts after the last wānanga in Dunedin.
We Believe - Auckland Community Housing Providers Network
10 June 2019:The "We Believe" video, which was introduced by Hope Simonsen, the Chair of the Auckland Community Housing Providers Network, at the SHIFT Aotearoa Conference on 6 June.
Latest news and updates
Māori Housing 4-Part Podcast Series
15 July 2019: A series of four podcasts focussed on Māori housing has been produced by Dr Becky Kiddle with support from Desna Whaanga-Schollum and Associate Professor Jo Smith as part of the Ako ahu team in the Kāinga Tahi, Kāinga Rua (KTKR) research programme.
The role of the Ako Ahu team is to support KTKR researchers to build a community of interest related to the current housing issues facing diverse Māori communities and to help create research that our communities might find relevant, and ideally, transformative.
Māori housing is a complex issue and requires a whole of landscape (systems) research approach that is embedded in kaupapa Māori methodologies. The Ako Ahu team worked to use pūrākau (storytelling techniques) to synthesise research findings across the three whenu of papakāinga, hauora, and whai rawa to identify key issues, concerns, innovations, and educational opportunities relevant to Māori housing.
Housing Kaumatua. Daisy Haimona Upokomanu outside her Hamilton whare. Photo: Desna Whaanga-Schollum.
Where do we dance? Planning social spaces in the suburbs
9 July 2019: The UK has its pubs. In China, people go out at dusk to exercise in the streets. So, where do Kiwis go to socialise in the suburbs?
In this NZ Local Government Magazine article by Building Better researcher Dr Rebecca Kiddle from Victoria University of Wellington, she writes that research shows a significant gap in planning for neutral ‘bumping spaces’. She presented her findings to date at the recent NZPI Conference in Napier.
"Aotearoa New Zealand suburbs are seemingly the spatial underdog of our towns and cities. As part of the research programme Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities I am leading a project called Where Do We Dance? with dance being the metaphor for socialising, making friends and building community. The project asks where, physically, community happens in this country and how might we improve the way we design and plan our built environments to better serve the making of communities."
Where do we dance? A street mural in Naenae, Lower Hutt. Photo: Rebecca Kiddle.
Urban design can’t come from the top down
9 July 2019: In this Ideasroom feature on Newsroom, Building Better researchers Marc Aurel Schnabel and Shuva Chowdhury from Victoria University of Wellington write about their BBHTC research project on using virtual reality tools for user collaboration in urban design, using a public-space development in Karori, Wellington, as a test case.
"Designing an urban environment involves confronting complex physical and social issues such as cultural contexts, economic situations, regulatory systems and personal and community preference.
"The design process should take these issues into account, but most of the design methods currently used by urban design professionals are ‘top down’ approaches where the designer, rather than users, dictates the process and outcomes."
One of the obstacles preventing a better relationship between designers and citizens is the lack of tools available to visualise the space through the planning process. Photo: Lynn Grieveson/Newsroom.