Wellington’s plan for growth a winner

24 November 2015

Wellington City Council’s proactive approach to planning for growth has been recognised with a New Zealand Planning Institute award.

This is a photo of award-winning Council housing in Newtown.

Award-winning Council housing in Newtown

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The city’s new Urban Growth Plan has won the NZPI Wellington branch’s Geok Ling Phang Memorial Award for 2015. The town planning award recognises projects or publications that highlight the valuable contribution sound planning makes to our cities and regions and quality of life.

The judges particularly noted that the Urban Growth Plan had helped draw attention to the planning process and enabled a wide cross section of the public to be part of where the city is heading.

One of the judges, Mark Ashby says the plan has been an integral part of collective decision making for the city’s future. Its approach to the management of growth was a great example of the planning ideals – and importance – of integration and being proactive.

“The plan seeks a balance between intensification in existing urban areas and urban expansion on greenfield land, and good quality and affordable housing is a key component,” he says. “It seeks to maximise the benefits of existing infrastructure and planned transport investments by directing growth to areas best able to cater for additional residents.”

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the Urban Growth Plan is a significant achievement and great step forward for urban planning.

“It is an integrated, thoughtful plan for our compact, beautiful Smart Capital,” she says. “People can thrive in a range of housing types, set in beautiful natural surroundings and easily connect by multi-modal transport choices.”

Councillor Andy Foster, chair of the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, says the plan builds on the direction the Council has been taking for the past 25 years but has a more integrated approach to managing growth – combining land use, transport, the natural environment, and resilience.  

”Our new Long-term Plan includes more than $210 million for urban development projects and $480 million for transport improvements around the city over the next 10 years – all identified through the Urban Growth Plan.”

Cr Foster says there will be challenges ahead, but the Council is committed to working with many partners to fulfil the strategy’s aspirations. 

“The result will be to make an already great city into a true world leader.”