25.15.1 Purpose

​​​​​​a) Good quality urban design is fundamental in delivering the Council’s Vision for a smart, liveable city which is attractive, well-designed and compact with a strong sense of place. The District Plan is a ‘design led’ plan which is ‘outcome’ focused. The consideration of urban design throughout the Plan chapters is required to ensure that urban design principles are applied consistently throughout all zones.​
b)​ Urban design applies not only to the appearance but also the function and feel of buildings and public spaces including streets. It focuses on public frontages and spaces and addresses elements such as streetscape, walkability, sustainable design, mixed-use development, ‘active edges’ of building frontages, and people’s safety and accessibility.​
c)​ Quality urban design is recognised as having economic, environmental, cultural and social dimensions (The Value of Urban Design: The economic, environmental and social benefits of urban design, Ministry for the Environment, 2005). Good quality design increases economic value, producing higher returns on investment. It can also reduce management and maintenance costs, lead to more productive workplaces, and enhance image and prestige. ​
d)​ Quality urban design assists to enhance environmental, social, cultural and economic wellbeing by establishing urban environments that: ​
i.​ Are competitive, thrive economically and facilitate creativity and innovation.​
ii.​ Provide a choice of housing, work and lifestyle options.​
iii.​ Are healthy and assist to sustain people and nature.​
iv.​ Are inclusive and offer opportunities for all citizens.​
v.​ Are distinctive and have a strong identity and sense of place.​
vi.​ Are well-governed and have a shared vision and sense of direction.​
​vii.​Are well connected and accessible for a range of users.
e)​ Within some zoning chapters outlined in this plan new buildings are to have matters such as design quality, appearance and amenity considered as controlled or restricted discretionary activities. This is combined with design led assessment criteria which combines international best practice urban design principles with factors considered to be of special importance to the City of Hamilton and its surrounding environments. The design principles identified within the plan also reflect New Zealand’s national Urban Design Protocol of which Hamilton City has been a signatory since 2006.​
f)​ The City Design Guide VISTA further outlines Hamilton’s expectations for better designed environments – describing how a well-designed place should look, feel and function. The non-regulatory guide highlights key urban design principles considered fundamental to Hamilton’s development as a prosperous, memorable and sustainable city.​
g)​ Objectives, policies, rules and assessment matters within this District Plan, along with other methods adopted by Council, seek to facilitate and encourage subdivision and development design in a manner that will continually enhance the quality of the City’s urban environments. While many urban design matters are responded to directly within the chapters of this District Plan, including specific topic and area based design guidance, this section provides the objectives and policies for those urban design matters that need to be considered throughout Hamilton regardless of the zoning that may apply.​
Page reviewed: 17 Mar 2016 3:42pm