Part B: Our work in detail

6 Urban development
​Tāone tupu ora

The Council’s urban development work includes urban planning and design, controlling building activity and land use, assessing risks from earthquake-prone buildings, and developing and enhancing public spaces.

Our work helps to make Wellington a compact, vibrant, attractive city in which it is easy to get from place to place, while reducing adverse effects on the environment. It is crucial for people’s health and safety, in the buildings they live and work in, and the public spaces they use. It is vital for the environment because a city with a smaller footprint produces fewer emissions and consumes fewer resources.

The Council’s key roles are to provide public spaces and infrastructure, and to plan and control development so the city can support a strong economy and a high quality of life in an environment that is both attractive and sustainable.

All of our work involves partnerships with developers and home owners who want to build or extend, with commuters who want to get to and from work or school, with businesses taking goods to market and with everyone who lives, works and plays in the city.

Key projects

Urban Development Agency

The Council has agreed to establish an Urban Development Agency to unlock the development potential in the city by removing barriers to development. This year, a detailed proposal for establishment of the agency will be prepared for consideration by the Council on what type of entity the agency will be, its accountability and monitoring arrangements, its funding model, and areas of focus. 

Adelaide Road redevelopment

Although Wellington has a vibrant central business district, parts of the inner city remain underdeveloped. By focussing future development on the “growth spine”, linking the northern suburbs to the central city, the Basin Reserve, Newtown and Kilbirnie, we can significantly increase housing supply and create vibrant, new, mixed-use city and suburban areas.

To this end, work will begin this year on the initial planning stage of redeveloping Adelaide Road. Redeveloping the north end of Adelaide Road will deliver a vibrant, mixed-use neighbourhood with high-quality public spaces, rapid bus links, and new developments featuring apartments, workplaces, shops and cafes.

Lombard Lane redevelopment

We are working with others to increase levels of economic activity and pedestrian movement along inner city lanes and streets. These works will include physical improvements such as lighting, paving, planting, creating a new and improved Denton Park and a shared street. Improvements to Lombard Lane are part of this wider programme of street and laneway upgrades and $1.5 million has been budgeted in 2016/17 for this work.

Cable Car Lane redevelopment

The iconic Wellington Cable Car is one of Wellington's most visited tourist attractions and transports approximately 1.2 million passengers per year. At present, Cable Car Lane is difficult to find and requires a refresh for operational and safety reasons. The lane will be upgraded in 2016/17 to align with the Cable Car shutdown between July and October 2016.

Frank Kitts Park upgrade

Frank Kitts Park plays an important role in the city as a gathering place and site for waterfront events. The park was completed in the 1980s, with a design aimed at allowing spectators to safely watch the annual waterfront street car race that ran at the time. The Council is proposing to redevelop the park, re-orienting its focus towards the harbour, including a long-planned Chinese Garden and large areas of open lawn, along with a much improved children’s play area.

The redeveloped park is due for completion in 2018 and will cost $5.5 million over the next 2 years. The redevelopment will create a more diverse and attractive harbour-front space, suitable for a range of uses.

Tawa Town Centre

The Council is currently planning to encourage more medium-density housing to be built in areas that can support high-quality developments. To make sure these areas will continue to be suitable for more housing, the Council is also running a town centre planning programme that provides a vision for the town centre and an action plan to achieve this vision.

The Tawa Town centre upgrade was originally planned for 2019/20 but will now be brought forward to 2016/17 due to community support for an early start. Concept design and costings have been completed. The upgrade will cost $1.0 million.

Urban Activation Fund

The Urban Activation Fund is aimed at transforming Wellington’s streets and laneways with a variety of projects that will enhance the city’s vibrancy and character. This year we will improve Holland Street and Garrett Street, Swan Lane and Cable Car Lane. To build on the success of “pop-up” projects in Bond Street and Civic Square, funding has also been allocated to small-scale activation projects that make the most out of our urban spaces.

Built Heritage Incentive Fund

The Council's Built Heritage Incentive Fund helps owners maintain their heritage buildings. The fund recognises the importance of conserving, restoring, protecting and caring for Wellington's heritage-listed buildings, objects, and buildings in heritage areas as in the Wellington City District Plan Heritage List or Heritage Areas.

Fifteen percent of the fund is reserved for conservation-specific work, while 85 percent is intended for work related to earthquake strengthening. The proposed work should maintain or enhance the building's heritage values. For 2016/17, $1.25 million is budgeted.

See: http://wellington.govt.nz/services/community-and-culture/funding/council-funds/built-heritage-incentive-fund

City resilience

Wellington has been selected as one of the Rockefeller Foundation-pioneered 100 Resilient Cities (100RC). Under the 100RC arrangement, Wellington is provided with support to develop a Resilience Strategy, and to commence implementation. The majority of the development on the strategy work will occur in the 2016/17 financial year, funded by 100RC. The strategy has strong linkages to other Council priorities and outcomes, including infrastructure, economic and social policy areas.

Key themes are likely to include areas such as: adaptation to climate change; earthquake resilience; quality of life and economic prosperity. The themes will be finalised following public engagement through workshops, a survey and interviews.

It is anticipated that the strategy will identify programmes of work and projects that will be presented to the Council as part of the Long-term plan 2018–28 deliberations.

Town Hall strengthening

The Council is working on strengthening and upgrading the Wellington Town Hall, including the potential for a music hub to be established. Victoria University School of Music and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra are working with the Council to plan an upgrade of the building for their use, as well as other Council uses.

We intend to take the opportunity to adapt the building for the music hub, or other Council uses, as part of the design where it is cost-effective. The work has to provide good value for the long-term benefit of the city and the complexity of the ground conditions and piles required detailed work to provide the best option. We are checking the previous base isolation design and expect to either reuse it or adapt it to take advantage of new technology and market changes.

We plan to present options and costs to the Council at the end of 2016 and start construction during 2017.

To find out more go to:
http://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/projects/earthquake-strengthening-projects/town-hall-strengthening/about-the-project

Placemaking

During the year we will spend up to $155,000 to create public spaces that will attract people. This will include suburban beautification projects and installing heritage building plaques, street identifying signs and historic character pedestrian traffic signs (like those of Kate Sheppard).

Commonwealth Walkway

The Commonwealth Walkway is a network of walkways across the Commonwealth established with the aim of inspiring young people to walk for physical and mental health. We plan to create New Zealand’s first Commonwealth Walkway that will connect 32 monuments, parks, building and historic places along a 9-kilometre loop.

Central city drinking fountains

Three water fountains will be installed in the central business district this year at Midland Park, Civic Square and Lower Cuba Street. This is to provide a healthy drinking option where families and young people congregate.

Urban development – group of activitiesTop

GROUP OF ACTIVITIES RATIONALE SERVICE OFFERING NEGATIVE EFFECTS
6.1 Urban planning, heritage and​ public spaces development​ (including waterfront development)

6.1.1 Urban planning and policy development

6.1.2 City Shaper development

6.1.3 Public spaces and centres development

6.1.4 Built heritage development
Smart growth/urban containment

Resilience

Character protection
  • Guiding where and how the city grows through the District Plan
  • Maintaining Wellington’s sense of place and pride by preserving the city’s heritage and developing public spaces including the waterfront
  • Key projects include:
    • Frank Kitts Park upgrade
    • Adelaide Road regeneration
    • Kent and Cambridge terraces urban regeneration project
Population growth and urban development, if not well managed, can have negative effects on a city’s environment and on social wellbeing. Left unchecked, growth can result in a reduction of open and green spaces with consequences for recreational opportunities, amenity and even some ecosystems.

Development in the wrong areas, or the wrong types of development, can place strain on infrastructure and reduce people’s ability to access services and enjoy the opportunities the city offers. Poorly-planned growth and poor development and construction of individual buildings can reduce the attractiveness of the city and the “sense of place” that people identify with and it can have a direct impact on people’s safety. We aim to avoid or mitigate these negative effects by guiding future development into areas where the benefits are greatest and the negative effects least.

The tools we use include planning, working with landowners, direct investment in development of public spaces, and using our regulatory powers under legislation such as the Building Act and Resource Management Act.
6.2 Building and development control

6.2.1 Building control and facilitation

6.2.2 Development control and facilitation

6.2.3 Earthquake risk mitigation – built environment
 
  • Ensuring buildings are safe in accordance with the Building Act
  • Ensuring natural resources are used sustainably in line with the Resource Management Act
These activities exist to mitigate and manage risks from development, construction, weather-tight building problems and from earthquakes.

Development and construction, if not well managed, can have negative effects on a city’s environment and on social wellbeing, and on the safety of individuals.

Development in the wrong areas, or the wrong types of development, can place strain on infrastructure and reduce people’s ability to access services and enjoy the opportunities the city offers.

Poorly-planned growth, and poor development and construction of individual buildings, can reduce the attractiveness of the city and the “sense of place” that people identify with and it can have a direct impact on people’s safety.

Our quake-prone building assessment programme is focussed on ensuring quake-prone buildings are strengthened to required standards to ensure the safety of those that occupy the building and its surrounds.

Urban development – performance measuresTop

URBAN DEVELOPMENT
Objectives Smart growth/urban containment

Resilience

Character protection
Outcome Indicators Residents’ perceptions that Wellington is a great place to live, work and play

Value of residential and commercial building consents

Population – growth and density (central city, growth spine)

Residents’ perceptions of the city centre as an easy place to get to, use and enjoy

Residents’ perceptions of urban design/urban form safety issues (eg graffiti, vandalism, poorly lit public spaces, etc)

Building density throughout the city

Proportion of houses within 100m of a public transport stop

Residents’ perceptions that heritage items contribute to the city and local communities' unique character

New Zealanders’ perceptions that Wellington is an attractive destination
6.1 Urban planning, heritage and public spaces development (including waterfront development)

6.1.1 Urban planning and policy development

6.1.2 City Shaper development

6.1.3 Public spaces and centres development

6.1.4 Built heritage development
 
PURPOSE OF MEASURE PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2016/17 2017/18 2018–25
To measure the quality of our urban planning, heritage protection and development work Residents (%) who agree the city is developing in a way that maintains high quality design Increase from previous year Increase from previous year Increasing trend
District Plan listed items that are removed or demolished Nil Nil Nil
Residents (%) who agree the central city is lively and attractive 87% 87% 87%
Residents (%) who agree their local suburban centre is lively and attractive 60% 60% 60%
Residents (%) who rate their waterfront experience as good or very good 90% 90% 90%
Proportion of grants funds successfully allocated (through milestones being met), 95% 95% 95%
Residents (%) who agree heritage items are appropriately valued and protected 65% 65% 65%
6.2 Building and development control

6.2.1 Urban planning and policy development

6.2.2 City Shaper development

6.2.3 Public spaces and centres development

6.2.4 Built heritage development
 
PURPOSE OF MEASURE PERFORMANCE MEASURE 2016/17 2017/18 2018–25
To measure the timeliness of our building and development control services Building consents issued within 20 working days 100% 100% 100%
Code of Compliance Certificates issued within 20 working days 100% 100% 100%
Land Information Memorandums (LIMs) issued within 10 working days 100% 100% 100%
Resource consents (non-notified) issued within statutory timeframes 100% 100% 100%
Resource consents that are monitored within 3 months of project commencement 90% 90% 90%
Subdivision certificates – Section 223 certificates issued within statutory timeframes 100% 100% 100%
Noise control (excessive noise) complaints investigated within 1 hour 90% 90% 90%
Environmental complaints investigated within 48 hours 98% 98% 98%
To measure the quality of our building and development control services Customers (%) who rate building control services as good or very good 70% 70% 70%
Building Consent authority (BCA) accreditation retention (2-yearly) n/a To retain n/a
To measure our progress on earthquake risk mitigation Earthquake-prone building notifications (section 124) (%) that are issued without successful challenge 95% 95% 95%

Urban development – activity budgetTop

6.1 URBAN PLANNING, HERITAGE AND PUBLIC SPACES DEVELOPMENT 2015/16
LTP
GROSS EXPENDITURE
2016/17
ANNUAL PLAN
GROSS EXPENDITURE
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
6.1.1 - Urban planning and policy 2,277 2,094
6.1.2 - Waterfront development 972 1,326
6.1.3 - Public spaces and centres development 2,169 2,224
6.1.4 - Built heritage development 1,498 1,998
Total operating expenditure 6,916 7,642
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
6.1.1 - Urban planning and policy - -
6.1.2 - Waterfront development 6,843 6,390
6.1.3 - Public spaces and centres development 1,425 4,163
6.1.4 - Built heritage development - -
Total capital expenditure 8,268 10,553
6.2 BUILDING AND DEVELOPMENT CONTROL 2015/16
LTP
GROSS EXPENDITURE
2016/17
ANNUAL PLAN
GROSS EXPENDITURE
Operating expenditure ($000) ($000)
6.2.1 - Building control and facilitation 13,809 13,624
6.2.2 - Development control and facilitation 5,981 5,971
6.2.3 - Earthquake risk mitigation – built environment 1,710 1,056
Total operating expenditure 21,500 20,651
Capital expenditure ($000) ($000)
6.2.1 - Building control and facilitation - -
6.2.2 - Development control and facilitation - -
6.2.3 - Earthquake risk mitigation – built environment 5,940 3,041
Total capital expenditure 5,940 3,041