Contestable Research Projects
Auckland's housing supply challenge | Autonomous vehicles and urban environments | Co-designing with children | Consenting automation | Delivering urban wellbeing | Give us space | Harnessing the hinterland | He kainga pai rawa: A really good home | Mauri ora and urban wellbeing | Novel wastewater processing | Producing affordable housing | Revitalising the production of affordable homes to provide for successful, engaged and healthy lives | Transdisciplinary resilience assessment | Understanding place | Urban narrative | Water Sensitive Urban Design
Understanding Place: Red Zone Stories
15 August 2019: Everyone has a different story to tell about the Red Zone surrounding the Ōtākaro Avon River. Building Better researchers from the Understanding Place research project invite you to share your stories using "Red Zone Stories", a website and app designed at the University of Canterbury.
Red Zones Stories is a space for you to record and share your stories, memories, and hopes for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor, whether you grew up here, have a family connection, or have ideas about how places here should look in the future.
The Red Zone Stories App is now live and downloadable from Google Play and The App Store. With the app, a user can record their stories via text, photograph, video, etc. for an interactive map on the redzonestories.nz website. There are already many photos and videos available on the map, showing what the red zone now means to people. This information helps researchers record the many different ways local residents and manawhenua respond to this place. It will also help urban planners understand what parts of the red zone are important to people and why. The research is independent from Regenerate Christchurch, but has been developed in consultation with them.
Contestable Research Projects
Two public space co-design case studies with children will be conducted in collaboration with Panaku and Auckland City Council. The research will establish the 'do-ability' and desirability of engaging children in participatory design in different socio-economic neighbourhoods and development contexts; identify the challenges of integrating children's particiaption into routine planning processes; and draw on the knowledge gained to develop a participatiopn 'tool kit'/online digitial resource to give urban designers/planners the skills and confidence to engage with children in public realm development projects.
21 May 2019: See the "read more" link below for an article in Architecture Now about this research programme.
Karen Witten, Emerald McPhee, Frith Walker, Claire Stewart
The project's general goal is to develop innovative, scalable tools to make manawhenua and residents' latent meanings of the natural environment available to assist urban regeneration. Its specific goal is to develop a structured database and web interface in order to present and gather micro-level cultural data about the Avon Otakaro corridor in Christchurch.
15 August 2019: The Red Zone Stories App is now live and downloadable from Google Play and The App Store. With the app, a user can record their stories via text, photograph, video, etc. for an interactive map on the redzonestories.nz website. For more information see the Red Zone Stories website. There are already many photos and videos available on the map, showing what the red zone now means to people. This information helps researchers record the many different ways local residents and manawhenua respond to this place. It will also help urban planners understand what parts of the red zone are important to people and why. The research is independent from Regenerate Christchurch, but has been developed in consultation with them.
Donald Matheson, Chris Thompson, Ben Adams, Paul Miller
The Research team will supply Think Pieces on pre-defined topics as follows: 1. A response to the recommended "tactical intervention of the Mayoral Housing Taskforce Report; 2. + 3. Responses to one of the recommended "strategic interventions" of the above report; 4. Vision Matauranga - synergies between this project and 'Kainga Tahi Kainga Rua'.
31 January 2019: Several new reports are now available from this research programme:
Birchmore, R. (2018). Medium-density dwellings in Auckland and the building regulations.
Trapani, P. (2018). Collaborative housing as a response to the housing crisis in Auckland.
Roger Birchmore, Paola Trapani, Yusef Patel
This project offers a potentially transformative approach to documenting in depth, one model of reducing the inequities in housing, which in turn improves health and wellbeing outcomes for kaumātua. The project is transformative in that it will highlight the organisational processes, skills, and knowledge that Māori organisations and organising bring to such successful housing models.
The anticipated identification and sharing of factors critical to the success of Moa Cres Kaumātua Village, has the potential to impact Māori organisations based in regional and larger cities to develop Māori, in collaboration with a range of other parties, to develop culturally responsive housing for kaumātua. The development of a potential Best Practice tool, will make this sharing easier than without, and the development of a new research agenda will investigate how translate the successful organising and residential components of Moa Cres will help other Māori organisations wanting to provide secure, healthy and affordable homes for kaumātua and/or whānau, in the adoption process.
Rangimahora Reddy, Yvonne Wilson, Mary Simpson, Sophie Nock, Kirsten Johnston
Revitalising the production of affordable homes to provide for successful, engaged and healthy lives
This research focuses on two critical and strategic questions: What is the demand for and value embedded in a social investment in low-cost new builds? And, how can a building industry which has been engrossed with producing housing in the upper quartiles of value be re-oriented to delivering low-cost housing?
9 August 2018: Two publications are now available in this research area:
Kay Saville-Smith, Ganesh Nana, Charles Waldegrave, Andrew Sporle, Fiona Cram, Bev James, Fiona Stokes, Chris Cunningham, Taimalieutu Kiwi Tamasese, Larry Murphy, Michael Rehm, Ian Mitchell
We will develop scenarios in conjunction with government departments, based on existing Ministry of Transport scenarios, and covering a range of time periods and settlement characteristics. We will critically review scenarios alongside existing policy documents and knowledge on settlement characteristics, wellbeing and ageing in place to produce a 'think piece' report.
Stage one partially addresses the following research questions:
1. What are credible scenarios for autonomous vehicle adoption?
2. How might settlement characteristics change under each of those scenarios?
3. What might be the implications of scenarios and settlement changes for wellbeing in an ageing population?
Photo reproduced with permission from ohmio Automotion Ltd/HMI Technologies.
Helen Fitt, Angela Curl, Rita Dionosio, Amy Fletcher, Annabel Ahuriri-Driscoll, Bob Frame
Increasingly, wellbeing registers are influencing national, regional, and urban governance, policy, and design with potentially transformative effects on how we think and do urbanism. This is important in an era of climate chaos and biodiversity failures, loneliness, obesity epidemics, and housing crises – the age of the Anthropocene summatively. While many wellbeing frameworks remain largely human-centric, in this project we ask: how might a more holistic wellbeing concept of mauri-ora as human and more-than-human wellbeing enable transformations in urban analysis, policy, and actions? Further, how might a mauri-ora urban science data tool catalyse innovations in city wellbeing?
We emphasise social and ecological connection as key urban factors for wellbeing in built environments, landscape infrastructures, and social systems. Engagement and activation processes as small-scale tactical interventions – in edible urban landscapes, and in wellbeing science communication, for example – are key methods by which we explore urban wellbeing place-making. Connecting through collaboration is also a central method, with an aim to provide tools (guidelines, data tools, processes) that improve civic–public partnerships for improved urban mauri-ora as life-field vitality.
28 May 2019: The Mauri ora and urban wellbeing team have run a series of workshops in libraries in Auckland over the April 2019 school holidays. Follow the "Read More" link below to read about their biodiversity and urban wellbeing workshop.
13 June 2019: Yates, A.M., Nair, N. & Renwick, J. (2019). Whanake Mai Te Ara Hiko: Think piece – Wellbeing-led, home-based energy infrastructures and low emissions transport. Report for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Mauri ora and urban wellbeing. Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland: BBHTC.
4 July 2019: Yates, A.M. (2019). Whanake mai te mauri ora: Think piece – an expanded wellbeing framework and urban science data tool for integrated wellbeing governance. Report for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Mauri ora and urban wellbeing. Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland: BBHTC.
Amanda Yates, Erica Hinckson, Monique Jansen, Rebecca Kiddle, Nirmal Nair, James Renwick, Charles Walker, Gayle Souter-Brown
This research will fill a crucial gap that presently exists in our knowledge about how we should go about providing quality, affordable homes. The impacts of this research could lead to transformational change in the domain of affordable housing policy. Because of the importance of healthy affordable housing to the development of strong, stable communities that are hospitable, productive and protective, this research addresses an issue that is fundamental to achieving both the vision and mission of the Challenge. In addition to its direct and timely policy relevance, the proposed research will strengthen connections between four of the Challenge SRAs, and will further develop collaborative relationships between researchers, policy makers, and housing providers. These impacts will enrich and diversify the housing research community locally, increasing our capacity for ground-breaking and innovative co-created research. Our proposed research has already received strong support from end-users across the country, and this proposal has been developed in collaboration with them. This collaborative approach will be employed throughout the research and reporting process to ensure ongoing alignment with the needs and aspirations of stakeholders. Finally, this research will contribute to the development of research leadership skills for an emerging researcher, thereby advancing the future capacity of local housing research.
Patricia Austin, Emma Ferguson, Nicole Gurran, Lena Henry, Simon Opit
The proposed research will deliver a think piece, describing some potential future states for wastewater infrastructure arising from increasingly available novel technologies. By consolidating leading-edge thinking, the work will provide a platform from which others (researchers, planners, regulators) can view the opportunities that arise in transition towards a circular economy and impacts on urban communities.
In posing a long-horizon vision, we do not make any assumptions about grand stepchange demands for our cities in the near, or even mid-term. Thus, a significant part of the exercise, will explore potential for movement toward the vision – what kind of changes might occur (or need to occur) in these shorter term horizons, and what are the societal impacts.
For example, we can imagine significant transformational change in small-scale treatment systems for black-water (toilet waste), where complete liquefication occurs on-site – delivering an aqueous phase into sewers. Immediate effects could be described in sewer demands, giving scope for small bore sewer pipes but in turn transforming the demands of centralised wastewater treatment systems. Resource recovery and energy neutrality may be given greater impetus as a result. Such an opportunity is certainly imaginable for a shorter term horizon, and can be seen as a step-towards the longer term vision.
A fully distributed circular economy within a longer time horizon will make redundant expensive end-of-pipe treatment plants. Recycle of nutrients and water locally would facilitate urban farms, enabling the growth of urban forests and food sources.
26 June 2018: See the "read more" link below for a blog article from Scion about the work of the waste water team.
Daniel Gapes, Doug Gaunt, Paul Bennett, Paola Leardini
To conduct research into a community enterprise in Christchurch, for the purpose of documenting the transformative social and environmental outcomes in order to enable adaption and replication elsewhere.
1. Increase understanding of a transformative community enterprise. Findings of research summarised in report and multimedia outputs.
2. Increase visibility of transformative community enterprise and its land use requirements in urban environments. Findings disseminated through NZ social media and local government contexts.
3. Increase ability of community enterprises to assess the wellbeing return on their investments in urban common spaces. Developed assessment methodology based on the Community Economy Return on Investment (CEROI) tool.By examining the urban farm and mental health care aspects of Cultivate's work, the proposed research will enable us to assess the potential contribution of social and community enterprises to urban wellbeing both within Christchurch and across other cities in New Zealand.
10 July 2019: Dombroski, K., Diprose, G., Conradson, D., Healy, S. & Watkins, A. (2019). Delivering Urban Wellbeing through Transformative Community Enterprise. Final Report for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Delivering Urban Wellbeing through Transformative Community Enterprise, July 2019, 32pgs. Christchurch: BBHTC
31 October 2018: Dombroski, K., Diprose, G., Conradson, D., Healy, S. & Watkins, A. (2018). When Cultivate Thrives: Developing Criteria for Community Economy Return on Investment. Milestone Report No. 1 for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Delivering Urban Wellbeing through Transformative Community Enterprise, 23pgs. Christchurch: BBHTC
Kelly Dombrowski, Gradon Diprose, David Conradson, Stephen Healy, Alison Watkins
This research will increase awareness of the environmental and social costs of conventional approaches to urban development, and identify features of Water Sensitive Urban Design that reduce maintenance costs, to help justify implementation of WSUD in
Ira, S. & Batstone, C. (2019). An investigation of alternative funding and incentive mechanisms to support implementation of WSUD in New Zealand: Activating WSUD for healthy resilient communities. 40pgs, Wellington: BBHTC.
Ira, S., Moores, J., Simcock, R., & Batstone, C. (2019). Recommendations for future research: Activating WSUD for healthy resilient communities. 23pgs, Wellington: BBHTC.
Moores, J. & Batstone, C. (2019). Assessing the full benefits of WSUD: Activating WSUD for healthy resilient communities. 33pgs, Wellington: BBHTC.
Moores, J., Ira, S., & Batstone, C. (2019). Study trip to Melbourne, November 2018 - Findings: Activating WSUD for healthy resilient communities. 17pgs, Wellington: BBHTC.
Moores, J., Batstone, C., Simcock, R., & Ira, S. (2018). Activating water sensitive urban design for healthy resilient communities - Discovery phase: Results and recommendations. 103pgs, Wellington: BBHTC.
For more information see the project website at Landcare Research
Robyn Simcock, Jonathan Moores, Sue Ira, Chris Batstone
Through a process of co-creation, this project will support communities to improve their well-being through better access and understanding of key semi-public open space. Benefits of the research are directed to end-users in their communities, organisations (grassroots, civic and private) and the scientific community. The work contributes to the achievement of the objectives of local and central government (e.g. Department of Internal Affairs, Auckland Council and Local Boards) and communities. Its applied research is aligned with that of Auckland Council’s Research and Evaluation Unit and Geospatial Unit. Dissemination at the local level will be supported by Local Boards and community groups. The pilot digital toolset will have implementation potential in other centres throughout Aotearoa New
Manfredo Manfredini, Dory Reeves, Rebecca Kiddle
The urban environment has profound effects on people lives, yet those people often have little ability to influence that environment, either because public participation is limited to ‘consultation’ – feedback rather than ideation – or people find the process alienating. As a two-phase work programme, ‘Urban Narrative’ offers the potential to transform urban governance and decision-making to a model that encourages and values public participation. By supporting participation, ‘Urban Narrative’ re-positions cities as ‘listening organisations’ that create authentic conversations and two-way relationships that gather, and act upon, local knowledge, ideas and aspirations.
Outcomes will include:
Methodology and tools to co-create urban design briefs that specify infrastructure development and better supports how people want to live.
More empowered, socially connected communities, where people are working collaboratively with their local government to hear their voices; community members can see their influence on their neighbourhood.
More liveable suburbs, towns and cities for all ages, sizes, abilities, and ethnicities that mitigate challenges and build upon assets.
New Zealand to be recognised as a leader in research and innovation that enables participatory design processes to be ‘business as usual’ for urban design. Likewise, we are recognised for our plethora of citizen partnerships, and for our ability to tangibly honour our distinctive people and culture.
Residents experience greater wellbeing because they feel accepted and valued, and their environment supports their needs and aspirations.
Areas undergoing revitalisation enjoy improved perceptions of liveability by residents and other citizens with decreased stigma or negativity.
28 May 2018: Dyer, M., Hinze, A. & Dyer, R. (2018). Building Research Capacity in Communities: Community Workshop Feedback Report #1. Report for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Urban narratives (Contestable Research), 41pgs, Waikato: BBHTC.
25 June 2019: Dyer, M., Dyer, R., Ferrari, T., Weng, M-H., Wilson, J., Wilkins, R., & Wu, S. (2019). Data Collection, Data Analytics, Data Visualisations and Data Storytelling. Report for Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Urban narratives (Contestable Research), 65pgs, Waikato: BBHTC.
Mark Dyer, Annika Hinze, Shaoqun Wu, Tomás García Ferrari, Kate Mackness, Rachel Dyer, Vivienne Ivory
Nextspace has previously produced a proof of concept for Auckland Council showcasing its latest data linking toolset (working title: Bruce). Nextspace is now seeking to build on the success of this PoC and has identified automated consent processing as one suitable problem/solution fit for Bruce as well as being a good product/market fit. Nextspace are of the opinion that the convergence of critical need (pressure on consent timeframes and spotlight on the costs of compliance) and availability of relevant technology suggest the time is right to create automated consenting.
Nextspace has set out a three-stage process towards full e-consenting and identified the relevant partners required to advance the project. The project builds on the work already completed for the PoC referred to above.
Effective e-consenting has a number of significant benefits for stakeholders (public, consent authorities, consultants etc.) over current processes, notably:
The smart design and LoD that is created at the architectural/design stage can be captured in detail as part of the consent processing – resulting in much improved quality data for the consenting authority – rather than being lost in the process as currently occurs
Less time and fewer mistakes, with consenting staff able to focus on value add over manual checking
By deconstructing the data through the process using Bruce, the consenting authority creates genuinely meaningful packets of data that can be deployed in a range of situations by the authority. Being beholden to complex CAD or GIS environments becomes unnecessary and staff are able to create simple fit for purpose UIs to get the job done. Training times are reduced to hours, not weeks.
Ultimately consents can be processed faster, more accurately, and more effectively, and at the same time the consenting authority is provided with deconstructed data for use throughout its organisation.
Mark Thomas, Alex Gnum, Aaron Robinson, Johannes Dimyadi
This proposed study is driven by the identified need to focus academic and policy attention of one of the most neglected dimensions of New Zealand society and economy — namely the rural areas and the small towns within them. These places form the backbone of the export economy and are home to some 22% of the national population, yet there is a poor understanding of how these places differ, the challenges which they face, whether they are able to regenerate and respond to social and economic change and the specific needs of key, often marginalised groups — i.e. women and Mäori. Media attention has dramatized the fate of so-called 'zombie' towns and the seemingly bleak future of rural
27 July 2018: To see a powerpoint presentation about the Harnessing the Hinterland project presented to the New Zealand Geographical Society conference, click below.
Etienne Nel, Ann Pomeroy, Sean Connnelly, Michelle Thompson-Fawcett
Previous work by the authors has identified a need to create a common framework across the many disciplines involved in resilience research to create an effective, integrated approach to assessing resilience and avoiding the creation of silos. This project will enable the creation of an integrated, multidisciplinary method for assessing the future resilience of urban developments by bringing together physical and social scientists with economists to address the different spatial and temporal scales, languages, concepts and world views inherent in urban systems research.
Guy Coulson, Jonathan Moores, Karen Witten, Robin