New Zealand Commercial Design Trends Series NZ Commercial Design Trends Vol. 30/9 - Page 86

homes, in communities they love, close to where they work. New Zealand has the opportunity to learn from these successful densely populated mixed-use housing areas, and do it even better. Cities are in part defined by their infrastructure but ultimately they are judged by the contentment of their citizens. Our cities need to be planned, designed and built for people. Vancouver model Auckland often looks to Vancouver for inspiration in transforming its downtown core. In the past few decades, Vancouver transformed its city centre into a dense urban community, attracting a range of ages and income levels with great success. Larry Beasley, who was the City of Vancouver’s co-director of planning during the main transforma- 84 SEARCH | SAVE | SHARE AT tion years, says that while other North American cities were struggling with the failed auto-centric development model, Vancouver showed how density and mixed use in a walkable community can be “a joyful, fulfilling experience”. There is a dramatic difference in the density per residential hectare of the two cities. The dense urban form that Vancouver has achieved follows the main transport routes, linking the greater city to the central core. In contrast, Auckland’s sparse density is scattered. In 50 years when Auckland surpasses the current population of Vancouver, will we still be one of the most liveable cities in the world? save | share Search 44603 at Left:Aecom structural engineer Isabella Franks compares the dense areas of Auckland with Vancouver – Auckland is expected to reach a similar size within 50 years.