Lets Build a City by Design

Auckland Conservation: A Design Led City


Last week Auckland Council held an “Auckland Conversation” around building a City led by design. The presentation was given by Auckland Design Champion Ludo Campbell-Reid in which (as a summary):

All great cities have vibrant and pulsating centres – think Melbourne, Vancouver, Barcelona, London and New York. In recent years Auckland has shown an ambition which rivals these other cities and to which Aucklanders and visitors are getting excited about. The changes have been dramatic and they have been quick. No longer ridiculed as “the city of cars” Auckland has turned a corner and is gaining worldwide attention for its efforts. ​​​​​​​​​​Join us at the next Auckland Conversations and find out how Auckland is becoming a design-led city through the delivery of a stunning, well-connected, world-class centre. Hear from keynote speaker, Auckland Council design champion, Ludo Campbell-Reid and the architects and developers who are transforming and revitalising Auckland through the design of homes, streetscapes, public spaces and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings.

Great cities have great public art. Council’s new public art policy provides guidance to both the public and private development sectors and calls for the incorporation of art into all significant public realm design. Auckland is poised to become a world leader by unequivocally demonstrating that art in the built environment is essential to attaining number one liveability. A design-led city is essential to Auckland’s economic vitality and its drive to become an internationally competitive city.

But this approach extends beyond just the city centre with projects across the region bringing design to the forefront. Examples of the design-led approach across Auckland include: · The new Waiheke Library · MIT’s new smart campus in Manukau ​the New Lynn Transit-Oriented Development the rebuild of the iconic and award winning Pt Resolution Bridge sustainable housing, neighborhood design and development at Hobsonville Point Britomart hospitality and retail precinct the shared spaces programme which has transformed O’Connell and Federal Streets the award-winning Auckland Art Gallery. The design-led city approach is a collaborative process between the public and private sectors. It embeds design thinking into the vision and plans for the region and unlocks the creative minds of business, government and Aucklanders so that the city’s design and its adaptive response to place, context and culture will, in time, be seen as its competitive edge – its point of difference in the world.

The Auckland Design Manual ​​​Learn how the Auckland Design Manual will provide a new platform for a design-led Auckland, helping us all to improve the design performance of our projects as clients, designers and planners of our city. Auckland’s unique cultural identity comes from the narratives of mana whenua The Te Aranga Māori Design Principles outline how we can design and shape our built environment to acknowledge our position as a city in the South Pacific. www.aucklanddesignmanual.co.nz 


Source and link to video: http://aucklandconversations.e-cast.co.nz/auckland-conversations/details/98

To see the video which is about 2 hours long click the link above (until Council gets a YouTube account and I can embed the video into the blog).


Supporting Information and Presentation Reference Material

Hobsonville Point Presentation – Design Led City


Nat and Pip Presentation – Design Led City


Ludo Campbell Reid Presentation – Design Led City



My own thoughts of a design-led built City is an interesting one mainly because of my SimCity 4 days. You use to have two styles of play with Sim City as the custom content grew:

  1. Ploppable every single residential, commercial, and industrial building under the sun in a micro-managing Soviet style City Building empire regime;
  2. Organic growth where the you zoned down the RCI and pretty much let the AI representing the market let rip. Of course civic and social infrastructure like libraries and parks was built by you and used to “influence” the type of buildings in a given area (transport infrastructure did that as well) but at the end of the day the market led the way.

I was tended to go for the organic approach in allowing the market to determine the topologies within a given zone. That said I could influence the typology through things like parks and mass transit facilities. Periodically I might do some “design” stuff when creating a centre piece for say a City Centre, suburban centre (Metropolitan Centre in our case) or some industrial logistics hub area.

11 years later I still prefer the organic approach to building a City with the odd centre piece going in there and there.

That said both the “design” and “organic” approaches have their places.


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