Cameron road communities along the city’s spine from Greerton to the city centre may be the first to take part in the draft Tauranga Urban Strategy intended to intensify city living.
City planning staff at the city Transformation Committee meeting on Tuesday say the communities along the Te Papa Corridor are best placed for intensification and placemaking.
It has strong transport networks and the city council is already looking into investing in public transport and prioritising walking and cycling down that corridor, says urban planning project leader Gareth Pottinger.
“There are high levels of employment right down that corridor from Greerton at one end to the city centre at the other. There are schools of all levels, the university campus, hospital,” says Gareth.
It is also an area of the city where natural hazards are managed more easily, than in other parts of the city.
The plan is to work in with local communities to plan, re-zone and redevelop areas before spreading the same theme out to other parts of the city.
“We want to have involvement from the community right from the start of this journey, and it is important we understand what people want for their urban centres, to then move forward and look to deliver this, while enabling growth opportunities,” says committee chair Cr Larry Baldock.
“We also want to be transparent, and inform the community on the scope of work that will be underway to progress the different elements of our strategy. Some processes take a number of years to eventuate so while early planning is essential, this still allows for changes along the way.”
The committee endorsed the next stage in progressing the draft Tauranga Urban Strategy that will involve community consultation and engagement as well as some early planning initiatives.
The draft strategy focuses on supporting community placemaking and the development of more compact forms of housing, with retail, community spaces and commercial activities.
Placemaking is a modern approach to planning and design and involves working closely with local communities to understand their needs, their assets, inspiration and potential, with the intention of creating vibrant urban centres that promote health, happiness and wellbeing.
The next steps of progressing the draft urban strategy are:
• Community consultation and engagement
• Regulatory preparation including investigation into plan changes
• Alignment with sub-regional approach – Future Development Strategy
• Identifying where placemaking may begin.
“We will be including in our consultation in the coming months that we would like to begin our focus on urban growth and placemaking in the city centre and along the Te Papa Peninsula/Cameron Road corridor,” says Larry.
“It is important that we hear feedback from the community on this approach, so we can progress our strategy with a shared view on the way forward to manage growth.”
The TUS a significant change to the way TCC plans and provides for urban growth. While ongoing greenfield development will occur, the greater focus on intensification in and around town centres means TCC needs to adapt its growth planning and investment, which requires a number of substantial policy changes, says the planners’ report to the committee.
The implementation of the policy requires comprehensive place specific community engagement processes in order to identify opportunities for growth, change and investment in town centres. It is critical that the Council works closely with local communities to build confidence and support for the redevelopment and change of existing centres. This needs to be undertaken in a manner that both preserves what people value about their centres and embraces what they want to see changed, ensuring that investment in infrastructure, amenity and facilities complements any redevelopment outcomes, as a result of growth and intensification.