Liveable and well-designed neighbourhoods, including houses, benefit their inhabitants. These also contribute to successful towns and cities. In other words, both the physical and social structure of neighbourhoods are critical to their success.

This research will focus on the larger cities – home to around half of all New Zealanders. It will lead to an understanding of the principles and processes that create more successful neighbourhoods.

One way it will do this is by investigating the complex factors involved in urban design, especially in relation to New Zealand cities. This will improve future urban environments through better planning and better integrating affordable housing in future communities.

In collaboration with stakeholders, the research will also evaluate real neighbourhoods, including ones with a high proportion of Māori residents, to discover how successful they are and why. This will improve future urban environments as communities can implement practices known to be successful with support from experienced communities. Also, it will inform better land use decision-making about the structure of successful communities.

The research will also create co-innovative communities of practice in major New Zealand cities. This will enhance uptake of innovation across the country in regard to improved urban communities.