how can spatial structure and landscape systems guide appropriate rural village responses to mitchell burn. growth pressure in kumeu and huapai?
abstract. 4. project aim. 5. issues investigated. 6. rationale. 8. methodology. 9. site introduction. 10. local case studies. 12.
international case studies. 16. landscape character assessment. 18. landscape theory. 24. community input. 26. waterway health. 28. alternate plans for the site. 32. 2.
landscape problems. 34. regional and catchment context. 36. conceptual mapping. 38. concepts. 40. development. 42. changes and tests to master plan. 44. flood plain solution. 46. storm water flow. 47. zoning solution. 48. residential densification. 49. plan. 50. elevations. 52. perspectives. 54. final reflection. 60. 3.
I chose the Kumeu and Huapai Villages as a site to investigate off of a infatuation with the issue of urban sprawl and the increasingly common blurring of the suburban realm into the rural realm in the Auckland isthmus. I approached the project very openly, willing to let it take me any direction my explorations through drawing and research deemed appropriate. Most of my original design decisions were made by experimentation through drawing. I drew and modelled to explore the lineal nature of Kumeu and Huapai. I made marks about river flows, flood patterns and how the river is ignored. I was interested in rural village character and how it could be graphically represented but also remained aware that any design I came up with needed to remain appropriate to this character. Exploration through drawing led me to come up with ‘the flip’ of the villages to face the river in the north and away from the road because I had come to realise that Kumeu had turned its back to it’s greatest natural asset. The exploration of linearity led me to the idea of pedestrian avenues and view shafts and how being able to see something from a distance often draws a person toward it. From this I came up with the notion that motorists will catch ‘glimpses’ of a park, down strongly defined view shafts as they drive along State Highway 16 and be drawn into the villages. For someone to use something regularly it needs to function efficiently. I kept this in mind when sketching ideas for the spatial structure of Kumeu and Huapai. I wanted to split the villages into zones depending on the accessibility, potential frequency of use and outlook of different areas whilst considering the proximity to the central square, river and transport hub of each zone type. This newly found interest and importance of the Kumeu/Kaipara River led to the potential impact its flood plain could have on the villages. If a park and planting followed the river as flood buffer it would provide amenity, stream health and protect Kumeu and Huapai’s assets from flood. It was these ideas and thought processes, along with many more similar notions which combined and complemented one another to allow me to design a structure plan for Kumeu and Huapai that successfully harnesses landscape architectural concepts such as spatial structure and landscape systems. The result is two adjacent villages with a vibrant rural village character that work together to overcome existing and impending issues and challenges.
exploration and interpretation of the lineal nature of kumeu and huapai.
how can spatial structure and landscape systems guide appropriate rural village responses to growth pressure in kumeu and huapai? I aimed to use spatial structure and landscape systems to design a structure plan for Kumeu and Huapai that would equip the villages with the ability to thrive in a situation of rapid population growth whilst retaining the rural aura of the area. The over arching outcome is tied together with the results of the investigative and theoretical processes of the project through maps, drawings, photographs, perspectives and cross sections.
growth along state highway 16.
the often forgotten kumeu/kaipara river.
Kumeu was identified in the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy in 1999 as a regional growth centre. With high population growth approaching, there is pressure on Kumeu and Huapai to become larger urban centres. 6,303 people lived in the Kumeu area unit (which includes Kumeu, Huapai, Waimauku to the west and Riverhead to the east) at the time of the last census in 2006. The population was estimated to be 7,460 people in 2010 and the projected population for 2031 is 13,050. This indicates Kumeu will outgrow the population of 10,000 people by 2050 that was predicted by the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy a lot quicker than originally expected. There is also the very real danger that these figures could grow even further as statisticians get more information and of course reality further proving prior statistics incorrect. With these population predictions ever rising there needs to be a quicker reaction from Auckland Council to growth in Kumeu and Huapai or these villages risk losing their distinct rural character. Over time Kumeu and Huapai have organically grown and developed along the State Highway 16 and North Auckland Railway Line transport corridor and as a result of this they are structured in a lineal arrangement. The villages are spread along the highway, using only land that is within 50 to 100 meters either side of the highway and adjacent line. The result of this is settlements that feel like they have no centre or heart. I believe that this also makes the villages feel less forthcoming to social interaction because all outlooks are towards the road and railway line. Adding to the anti-social nature of Kumeu and Huapai is the constant traffic flow on State Highway 16. Being a state highway it is a major transit route from all settlements North West of Auckland from which many citizens commute to other parts of the city every day. This means that there are many people travelling through Kumeu and Huapai that have little or no interest in stopping or using any of the facilities the villages offer. These people have no choice but to drive through both villages so in my opinion there is a prime opportunity to give them a reason to stop. Kumeu and Huapai villages are situated very close to the Kumeu River, but many visitors to the area would never know it was there. The retail outlets that line State Highway 16 block the view to the river behind them. The industrial businesses that own most of the land that backs onto the river ignore this sensitive asset like a wall comes between them. The river is also prone to flooding which could affect the entire village if left unmanaged.
economic growth limitation.
lack of true centre.
There is a demand among the residents of Kumeu and Huapai for more industrial businesses in the area to provide more jobs. For the current economy to be able support industrial expansion the large industrial businesses that are located along the southern side of State Highway 16 need to spread further afield onto cheaper land. There is extra land zoned as industrial available behind these properties but it is currently not being utilised as it goes unseen to passers by. Huapai and Kumeu are located side by side but the connection between one another is weak. The road and very narrow footpath is the only connection between the separate yet very close villages. People do not use the footpath to travel between the villages as it is a very car dominant area. It is as though the two villages are kilometres apart when they are only separated by a few meters. I believe the villages could be integrated to strengthen this connection. Like many towns and villages in New Zealand the architectural style varies across all of the buildings in Kumeu and Huapai. This, along with the narrow gaps between most buildings contributes to the villages feeling disjointed and hindering physical and aesthetic flow. There is no inclination to walk between shops and businesses required whilst running errands in Kumeu and Huapai, locals drive to and park at each location they require as they shop. Kumeu and Huapai have no true centre so people are not inclined to naturally gather. People come to the area, carry out their purpose and leave. It is not appealing to spend time in the villages public space for leisure. This is a problem as there is some good public open space in Kumeu and Huapai, but the design and quality of the spaces is irrelevant because the layout of the villages does not promote this space to be used.
I believe extensive research has played a key role to properly understanding the context of Kumeu and Huapai. Finding a range of local and international case studies of rural townships that have or have not survived growth or retained rural character opened my mind to possibilities I hadnâ€™t considered and raised my awareness early on to some of the main issues facing Kumeu and Huapai. Investigation into these case studies and taking note of what has worked and what has not in various situations was key to the rationale behind some of the major design moves I made at Kumeu and Huapai. Writing a landscape character assessment, investigation into river health and research into landscape theory were opportunities to acquire more knowledge about my site and many could provide support and justification for my design work. Research into various plans and proposals for the area, recent and discarded, supplemented by feedback from the community further clarified the direction for development at Kumeu and Huapai that would allow the area to grow gracefully. My midyear trip to Italy, France and England supported some of the European case studies I discovered in the first semester. I believe the experience added variety to my research and whilst not looking at my site directly I was be able to relate many aspects of the cities, townships and villages I came across to my site. This research was pivotal theoretical procedure in interpreting the context of the site. It highlighted what defines Kumeu and Huapai and what needs to be retained. The site has a distinct sense of place and I believe this is what should be valued above all.
Investigative Strategy: The methodology for the investigative strategy remained flexible and creative yet well structured in order to maintain productivity. It included a wide range of processes such as: - Creative exploration and interpretation of the site. - Philosophical exploration and interpretation of the site. - Drawing, model making and mapping. - Design experimentation. Representation Strategy: The methodology behind my representation strategy was based around communicating the investigation in the most descriptive and poetic format possible. I believe my research and work reflects distinct and uniform thinking and style that is consistent throughout the entire project. It included a wide range of tools that included: - Sketching. - Draughting. - Computer generated work. - Writing.
site introduction of kumeu, huapai and the north west.
80kph speed limit.
motorway extension. hobsonville shopping centre.
auckland CBD. 100kph speed limit. westgate shopping centre.
Kumeu and Huapai are adjoining rural villages that lie on State Highway 16, 25 kilometres North-West of central Auckland, New Zealand. Throughout the past century the villages were well known as the hubs of the surrounding agricultural and horticultural industries, particularly dairy farming and wine growing. Today, Kumeu and Huapai are more recognised for lifestyle block living, small scale produce and the nearby recreational locations of Woodhill forest and Muriwai Beach. Something that interests me about Kumeu and Huapai is that their reputations of are based around processes that surround the villages and nothing that takes place in the villages themselves. Kumeu is now a 17 minute journey by car from Aucklandâ€™s CBD with the North Western motorway extension complete. This improved accessibility coupled with Aucklandâ€™s current growth rate will cause the population of Kumeu and Huapai to almost double over the next 10 years. As it is now easier and quicker than ever to travel to the city and other parts of Auckland, I believe the village centres themselves are in danger of fading even further into insignificance. New, nearby shopping, commercial and business areas that once completed, will be easily accessible due to the North Western motorway extension are being developed at Westgate and Hobsonville. These developments have been planned on clear, flat sites and most probably designed with public open space and social interaction and programming in mind. I think the people of Kumeu and Huapai will naturally gravitate to these centres if they are well designed and their local alternative is not meeting their needs. Spatial structure and landscape systems can be developed to help the businesses of Kumeu and Huapai gain clientele away from these nearby developing centres, cater for growth and at the same time nurture the rural village character of Kumeu and Huapai.
1:2,000. ^ n.
local case study one. albany, auckland.
Albany on Aucklandâ€™s North Shore is a case study that provided me with a less successful example of growth and expansion at a previously modestly populated area. I can use a lot of aspects of how Albany has developed over the last 20 years to help Kumeu and Huapai expand more gracefully and effectively. Kumeu and Huapai does not need to expand to the same extent as Albany has, which will allow it to retain more of its original character and I learning from mistakes that have already been made on a larger scale will render them more obvious and easier to benefit from. Aspects of growth at Albany avoided: Albanyâ€™s growth has been driven by economics. Albany has turned its back to its original centre. Albany has ignored its ecological assets. Albany has been led by land developers not planners and landscape architects. Albany is now broken up into several different areas with paddocks or small patches of bush separating each section. (Industrial, Commercial, Educational, Recreational, Village.) Big box retail now almost defines Albany.
local case study two.
Clevedon is a case study I chose to help me further distinguish what contributes to creating a rural village character. It is an example of a place that possesses a very distinct rural village feeling. What interested me the most about Clevedon was that all of the local residents and businesses work together with a single vision to help strengthen and maintain the rural character of the area. This small town feeling was refreshing to find as a part of the biggest city in the country. Clevedon shares many characteristics with Kumeu with the main difference lying in the major transport artery that runs through Kumeu. Clevedon is what I imagine Kumeu would have been like 50 years ago. Key differences between Kumeu/Huapai and Clevedon: Clevedon has no major impending population growth. Clevedonâ€™s distance from central Auckland means people who live there do so because they want to. Clevedon is more of a destination rather than a through fare. There is plenty of genuine rural activity still occurring around Clevedon where as in Kumeu most of this has been reduced to a few vineyards and orchards among many lifestyle properties. Aspects of rural village character at Clevedon of value: Residents and businesses in particular are contributing to a certain rural style and character (rural, farm house, horses, ranch, wool shed, rustic). Clevedon is marketed as a village and destination (has a website and advertising promoting it). Clevedon has a strong sense of community everywhere (communicated through signs in the shops, church, pony club).
international case studies.
rural villages in europe.
The Integration of Old and New in France and England: In France the villages are much older than Kumeu and Huapai, in many cases by over 600 years so the approaches to growth are very different. It seems most things are merely preserved and maintained as much as possible, where ever possible. It is a different case in Kumeu and Huapai because there are few landmarks and buildings of enough significance or value to preserve but retaining some of the old can often build character. In England the mixture of old and new is fascinating. From the way buildings of massive age differences reside adjacent to one another with the utmost appropriateness creating a striking juxtaposition to how old and new materials on the ground meet and merge. Natural England Countryside Quality Counts: The Countryside Quality Counts project was developed as a national indicator of how Englandâ€™s countryside is changing, to understand how and where the changes occur and most importantly, where change is affecting the countryside and its rural villages the most. Landscape character change is assessed nationally and the monitoring of landscape change is done through a combination of quantitative and qualitative assessment. The project uses Englandâ€™s National Character Areas (NCAâ€™s) as the geographical framework for reporting and assessing both the magnitude and the direction of landscape change for each NCA, using four categories: maintenance, enhancement, neglected and diverging. I was able to scale down this identification of countryside quality and apply it to Kumeu and Huapai to identify which of these categories can be assigned to various sections of my site and treat accordingly in the design process.1
landscape character assessment.
Introduction: This landscape character assessment will supplement and enhance my understanding the unique character of the Kumeu and Huapai villages and the land surrounding them. Kumeu and Huapai are adjoining rural villages that lie on State Highway 16, 25 kilometres North-West of central Auckland, New Zealand. Throughout the past century the villages were well known as the hubs of the surrounding agricultural and horticultural industries, particularly dairy farming and wine growing. Today, Kumeu and Huapai are more recognised for lifestyle block living, small scale produce and the nearby recreational locations of Woodhill forest and Muriwai beach. 6,303 people lived in the Kumeu area unit (which includes Kumeu, Huapai, Waimauku to the west and Riverhead to the east) at the time of the last census in 2006. The population was estimated to be 7,460 people in 2010 and the projected population for 2031 is 13,050. This indicates Kumeu will out grow the population of 10,000 people by 2050 that was predicted by the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy in 1999 a lot quicker than originally expected. There is also the very real danger that these figures could grow even further as the statisticians get more information and of course reality proving statistics incorrect. The Regional Growth Strategy in 1999 did identify Kumeu as a regional growth centre but with these population predictions ever rising there needs to be a quicker and smarter reaction from Auckland Council to growth in Kumeu and Huapai or these villages risk losing the distinct rural character people love. Landscape Character Assessment Approach: a) Identification, confirmation and refinement of landscape types. b) Delineation of landscape units within the landscape types. c) Descriptions of the inherent character of each unit in terms of its landform, vegetative cover and land-use. d) Assessment of the relative visual quality (VQ), visual absorption capability (VAC) and visibility of each unit. e) Description of the visual character and quality of the experience of visiting Kumeu and Huapai, including identification of enhancers and detractors within each unit. f) Identification of key landscape elements within each unit that share landscape components that reoccur in other locations in northwest Auckland. g) Identification of the outstanding natural features and landscapes of northwest Auckland. h) Description of the main activities that have the potential to generate visual effects. i) Outline of broad principles and objectives for landscape management. j) Suggested objectives and policies to protect and enhance the inherent character and quality of each key landscape element. To completely understand rural village character of Kumeu and develop an accurate, useful data set I followed a standardised evaluation process modelled off â€˜Opotiki District Landscape Assessmentâ€™ prepared by Boffa Miskell Ltd in 1998.2 Landscape Types: The only landscape type in the Kumeu/Huapai area is rural pasture. I have broken this down into four quite broad zones (refer to Image 1.) that represent the make up of the area more clearly. These sub-landscape types/zones are: Rural Grassland, Water/Riparian, Residential Developed, Commercial/Industrial Developed.
kumeu and huapai landscape zones.
n. 1:20,000. ^
rural. residential. water. open space. commercial/industrial.
Landscape Units and Elements: Based on my research there are 6 landscape units in the Kumeu/Huapai area. A description of each unit; itâ€™s visual quality, visual absorption capability and visibility rating (refer to Table 2.); the identified enhancers and detractors and a map depicting (see Image 2.) the unit itâ€™s boundary, physical characteristics and outstanding natural features and landscapes (refer to Table 1.) are summarised in this section. Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes: This section outlines how the only outstanding natural feature or landscape in the area, the Kumeu River and it surrounding riparian zone was identified but makes no distinction between whether the river is determined to be a natural feature or natural landscape. The distinction between whether an area is a feature or a landscape is often not clearly distinguishable, mainly because it is hard to define what kind of scale we view most natural formations at. (e.g. Do we look at the entire river, from its establishment in the hills to its mouth at the sea or just the portion that passes through Kumeu?) To maintain a holistic view and approach to natural features and landscapes they are identified and evaluated in a particular way. Method of Identifying Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes: In order to identify natural features and landscapes, which in terms of their landscape and visual qualities, are of outstanding significance to the area, a combination of the following techniques were applied: - Identification through desktop and ground survey of notable and/or distinctive natural landscape features. - Research of areas already identified as outstanding due to values other than landscape features. (e.g. Wildlife or geopreservation value.) - Expert opinions from landscape architects and other professionals such as land surveyors who have conducted projects based on the land. Criteria Used in Delineation of Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes: After identifying the area it is evaluated using the criteria set out below: -Naturalness: The degree of intactness or of modification/land use and activities. -Coherence: The pattern of the landscape or feature relative to landform, land cover and land use. -Vividness: The perceived memorability of a feature/landscape. -Prominence: Elevation in relation to surrounding landform (above or below). -Visibility: Number of viewers and orientation relative to feature/landscape. These criteria are evaluative, rather than additive. The following table (Table 3.) lists the Outstanding Natural Features and Landscapes within the Kumeu and Huapai area, the landscape type and unit within which they are located and whether the feature or landscape is of Regional significance.
kumeu and huapai landscape units.
n. 1:20,000. ^
waimauku. shw16 between waimauku and huapai. huapai. kumeu. shw16 between kumeu and riverhead. riverhead. outstanding natural landscape.
Kumeu River: The Kumeu River is an often forgotten and sometimes unknown feature for residents and visitors of Kumeu alike. However I believe the only natural feature or landscape I have identified as outstanding in the Kumeu area has the potential to be itâ€™s greatest asset. The Kumeu River has been highlighted as an integral part of Kumeuâ€™s character on multiple accounts through this Landscape Character Assessment so far. This is because of the riverâ€™s ability to provide so much to the area including increased biodiversity, wildlife corridors, dissipation of stream energy, cleaning of stream water and in parts where the river meets commercial, residential and open space, amenity value. Currently the river is providing some of these benefits to the Kumeu area but not all and not to its full potential. If through landscape architecture this potential can be reached, the most noticeable change will be the experience people gain as they move through a space near the river. Improvements to the ecological health of the area will also be a result and have will have a huge impact that might not be as noticeable to humans but will be just as influential on preparing the Kumeu for growth. Visual Effects Generators: Visual effects result from natural and/or induced change in the landscape usually as a consequence of vegetation or landform manipulation or the introduction of structures, activities, or facilities into the landscape. Visual effects can be positive (beneficial), negative (adverse) or benign (with essentially no change to character or quality). By identifying the likely visual outcomes associated with typical human activities, policy and methods can be developed to control the potential adverse effects and to encourage beneficial effects. Five types of actions have been identified as key to managing the visual character and quality of the landscape resource at a local scale in Kumeu. The potential effects of each are described below: Lot Boundary Alignment/Subdivision: New lot boundaries are generated with land subdivision. Lot boundary alignment in relation to the natural landform establishes the overall pattern of land use, which in time strongly influences landscape character. Lot boundaries can and should be aligned to reinforce the natural pattern of the landscape. Particularly in rural areas like Kumeu the alignment of fence lines, which are frequently reinforced by shelter planting, if not lots are not planned well can heavily visually impact a landscape unintentionally by breaking up the natural flow and pattern of the landscape. In contrast fence lines can reinforce these natural patterns and have the power to add an important cultural layer to the quality of rural landscapes. It is desirable that the subdivision process recognises the potential for development to be integrated with the natural landform to create high quality rural and rural-residential landscapes. Key components of the landscape from which cues for the appropriate location of lot boundaries can be drawn include the following: - Land contour - Landform changes - Water courses - Bush edges Buildings and Structures: Key to the functionality of the master plan is passive flow of movement and visibility through (south to north and vice versa) the three mixed-use buildings (services, retail and hospitality) in Kumeu and Huapai. Eight buildings key to the master plan have been recycled with minor renovations. Industrial buildings have been retrofitted to form indoor farmers markets, and a food market. Vegetation and Planting: A greater intensification of native bush vegetation patches will improve ecological health in the region whilst improving amenity. A native riparian margin following the Kumeu/Kaipara River will aid stream health and increase biodiversity in the area. Native wetlands will cleanse storm water and soils. Some have been strategically located on potentially polluted industrial sites in the hope of removing some of the contaminants in the soil through the process of phytoremediation. Aspects of the history of the area can be maintained through fruit trees and vineyards integrated into the site. Industrial Zone Alignment and Location: The Industrial zone at Kumeu and Huapai needs to be concentrated in a certain area as the Kumeu/Kaipara River and its substantial flood plain make it a fairly sensitive area. Land that is cheap is important for industrial development as industrial processes generally require a large area and businesses of course need to be as economically profitable as possible. Most of the land along State Highway 16 is less suitable to the nature of industrial development as it is more expensive and amenity value of surrounding land is lowered. Most of the land south of State Highway 16 that is at least 500 metres away from the Kumeu/Kaipara River is suitable for industrial development.
Throughout this project I was constantly testing and experimenting with portions of research, models and theories through design at Kumeu and Huapai. When I first began researching landscape theory that could potentially help shape Kumeu and Huapai in preparation for growth I had a particular interest in material based on non-planned settlements. I wanted to know more about how the spatial structure of villages or small towns that had formed organically could be adapted or modified to operate more appropriately. Writers and theorists with the largest impact on my thinking in this area included R. Koenig, K. Humpert, E. Schaur, D. Menzies and S. Swaffield. This research contributed to helping make and justify some key planning decisions but did not dictate them. Schaur’s material3 is based around the different ways settlements form and provided insight into how settlements form from the bottom-up, which is how elements organise themselves to form more complex structures in an originally unpopulated landscape. More often than not, in town planning the bottom-up approach is preferred, but not all urban development processes have the luxury of designing using this method. This research spawned a real interest in finding how the particular structure formation would have arisen at Kumeu and Huapai. Humpert’s work4 approaches how particular structure formations arise in cities and his concept of ‘feldtypen’ (field types) fulfilled my interest by identifying six basic types of urban patterns and formations (see image opposite). The theory clarifies how the structure of Kumeu and Huapai would have originally formed and hints at how the villages could potentially evolve into different settlement types that will improve functionality and amenity. Menzies’ work on intangible landscape values and case study of post earthquake Christchurch stimulated thinking that stemmed new ideas of where aspects of Kumeu and Huapai’s character, values and memories come from and how they can be maintained. The idea that intangible landscape links can provide ideas for re-connecting tangible landscapes when re-designing became very useful to me in connecting Huapai and Kumeu on both physical and subconscious levels in my final design. Dr Menzies also arose ideas that Maori concepts that distinguish links with the landscape (whakapapa and turangawaewae) can be applied in a place like Kumeu and Huapai where peoples connection with a place isn’t about visual beauty or amenity but history, familiarity and knowledge.
humpert’s 6 ‘feldtypen.’ nukleus, cluster, wegelagerer, ausleger, vernetzer and plan.
I collected and summarised a range of opinions from the community through a range techniques. I circulated a questionnaire around a random cross section of the local Kumeu and Huapai community. I have spoken with Bob Howard, the chairperson of the Rodney Local Board for Auckland Council and long standing residents and land owners in the area. I have also reviewed the public submissions to private plan change 162 (Kumeu Town Centre). The data I collected was for the most part unanimous. Residents do not always agree on what they think is best for the future of Kumeu and Huapai but the portion of the population surveyed did agree on several key points which have been able to summarise as follows. The majority believe that the Kumeu and Huapai villages need to expand to cater for population growth in the surrounding area however, it is generally preferred that changes be as minor as possible whilst still achieving the required result. In a slight contrast to this point there are a select few who do not want the Kumeu and Huapai villages to change at all, with some strongly stating, “this is the country, we don’t need supermarkets and more retail.”5 Many residents feel the vineyards and orchards of the area play a strong role in defining the character of Kumeu and Huapai whilst others mentioned some of the tight knit sub-communities and neighbourhoods have the same effect. Not many participants of the questionnaire mentioned buildings that were of substantial sentimental or historical value to them but the Kumeu Masonic Lodge was mentioned by a small minority. The Kumeu Show Grounds and Kumeu/Kaipara river were mentioned a lot more frequently when landscapes or natural features were bought up. Most people stated they would prefer to pick up every day items and use services locally rather than travelling to larger centres such as Westgate and Albany. Interestingly many stated the reason for this being the desire to support local businesses and employment as opposed to convenience. Questions put forward to a cross section of general residents: Do you believe the Kumeu and Huapai villages need to expand to cater for population growth in the surrounding area? If so, do you think changes need to be minor or drastic and why? Do you want the Kumeu and Huapai villages to change? Why/Why not? Is there any particular features (tangible (physical) or intangible (non-physical)) of Kumeu or Huapai that you think play a strong role in defining the character of the area? Is there any building or physical feature (man made or natural) in the Kumeu and Huapai villages that is of any substantial sentimental or historical value to you? If so, what is it and what is it’s value to you? Do you prefer to pick up a few items (e.g. fruit and vegetable shopping etc.) locally at Kumeu/Huapai or at a big centre Westgate/Albany? Would you do more shopping at Kumeu and Huapai if they had more variety and appropriate services to offer? Do you think the commercial and industrial businesses should be separated into two separate zones in the Kumeu/Huapai area? Is there aspect you dislike about the Kumeu and Huapai villages? If so, what is it and why don’t you like it? Would you catch the train if there was a station at Kumeu and it was regular, reliable and electrified?
Excerpts from Public Submissions to Private Plan Change 162 (Kumeu Town Centre): Opposing Submissions: “Industrial or residential only. Too many shops with Westgate and Waimauku development. Need to provide for industry and residential development.” - Byungtack Sung “Decline the plan change. Keep industrial or residential as there is an oversupply of retail shops now.” - Arron Dormer “Need to retain the long term plan regarding Huapai as the retail focal point of the area.” - Adrian Spraggs “Decline the Plan change. This is the country, don’t need supermarkets and more retail.” - Martin Kenneth Kells “Oppose the entire plan change; population doesn’t support it, vacant retail in proximity, no wastewater management system in plan change, separate town centre not warranted, traffic congestion, inadequate consideration of the river and the flood plain and lack of consultation with Reweti Marae Trust.” - Francie Tutara “Residential H zone should include a variety of section sizes and no more than 2 storeys in height.” - WI & BF Dutton “Section size should be increased to a minimum of 400sqm and a diversity of section sizes, height restriction should be 2 storeys.” - Helen & Clyde Mitchell “Residential sections size should be minimum of 400sqm.” - Kumeu - Huapai Residents & Ratepayers Association “Reject the Plan Change as the site is of cultural significance to Ngati Whatua as it affects their ancestral land. The subject area is also in a flood plain.” - Ngati Whatua Nga Rima o Kaipara Supporting Submissions: “Retain Transpower system without modification issue. Retain without modification the description of Policy Area D – Floodway.” - Transpower New Zealand Ltd (Transpower New Zealand Ltd support some aspects of the zone change but oppose others.) “Retain [certain aspect] in its current form.” - New Zealand Fire Service Commission (The New Zealand Fire Service Commission support some aspects of the zone change but oppose others.) “Approve the proposed plan change.” - Michael James Brajkovich “Accept the plan change.” - Lesley Pamela Lester
Results of Wai Care Water Testing Upstream and Downstream of Kumeu and Huapai: I wanted to test the water quality in the Kumeu/Kaipara River to see if it was affected in any way by the proximity to the villages as it flowed past Kumeu and Huapai. Rachel Griffiths of Wai Care at Auckland Council kindly helped me test two sites with her equipment that measures the water quality by combining a combination of methods and data. This includes detecting the presence of sensitive indicator species of micro invertebrates, recording habitat information such as watercourse type, land type, substrata, micro habitat, temperature/shade, current speed, bank stability/erosion and testing air temperature, water temperature, water clarity, pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrite and nitrate. The first site we tested the water at was at the end of Weza Lane and up stream 50 meters. This site would provide results to indicate the water quality before it reaches Kumeu. My hypothesis was that there would be stronger indication of good water quality here than down stream, on the other side of the Kumeu and Huapai villages. The testing site habitat was a stream in pastoral land that was close to an urban area. The general substrate was weedy with the samples taken from a micro habitat of macrophytes and root systems. There were no mature trees shading the general area with some erosion on the bank as a result despite the slow current flow. The air temperature was 19째C. In the water the temperature was 13째C, clarity was 55cm, pH was 7, there was 8mg/L of dissolved oxygen and no nitrite or nitrate. There was 1 sensitive species of micro invertebrate present (Flat Mayflies), 3 relatively sensitive species of micro invertebrate (Damselflies, Amphi/Isopods and Shrimps) and 4 moderately sensitive species of micro invertebrate (Sandfly Larvae, Mosquito Larvae, Midges and Rounded Snails). 1 pest species was also found and indicator specimens were destroyed (Gambusia Fish). The second site we tested the water at was at the end of Tapu Road. This site would provide results to indicate the water quality after it has passed through Kumeu and Huapai. My hypothesis was that testing would indicate a poorer water quality here than up stream, on the other side of the Kumeu and Huapai villages. The testing site habitat was a stream in pastoral land that was close to a suburban area. The general substrate was weedy with the samples taken from a micro habitat of macrophytes and root systems. There were several, large, mature Rimu trees shading the entire stream and test area. There was very little erosion on the bank, mainly as a result of the slow current flow increasing during regular flooding. The air temperature was 15째C due to the shade. In the water the temperature was 12째C, clarity was 41cm, pH was 7.5, there was 8mg/L of dissolved oxygen and no nitrite or nitrate. There was 2 sensitive species of micro invertebrate present (Tail Gill Stoneflies and Woody-cased Caddisflies), 2 relatively sensitive species of micro invertebrate (Damselflies and Amphi/Isopods) and 2 moderately sensitive species of micro invertebrate (Midges and Rounded Snails). To summarise the results of the Wai Care water testing at the two sites I learnt that there is slightly higher acidity in the water at the second site. This could be due to many reasons but the most probable cause of this is the proximity of the Atlas Concrete company site to the river in Kumeu. It is very possible that excess particles from the production of concrete occurring so close to the river could be making their way into the water and causing pH levels higher in acidity further down stream. This result means that there is less biodiversity in the river as less species can live in conditions of raised acidity. This finding supports the shift of industrial zoning away from the river. A higher level of waterway health was encountered at a shaded site. Shaded sites can accommodate more sensitive species because the debris that falls off the trees overhanging the river provides more habitat for a wider range of micro invertebrates. This result led me to introducing larger species of plants that will eventually overhang the river in the riparian margin that follows the river.
alternate plans for the site.
1:3,000. ^ n.
District Plan Change 164 is the most recent and relevant application to Auckland Council that will allow large scale redevelopment at Kumeu and Huapai. This design proposal was presented at a hearing in late 2011 and the privately owned land zoning change is currently pending . The mixed use development planned features rigorous residential intensification. 490 apartment units, 43 terrace houses, 126 town houses and 34 semi-detached houses which equals 693 residential units in total. It is my opinion, based on my research focusing on Kumeu and Huapai and rural development transitions that this plan is a scheme based around economic gain only behind a thin veil of traditional urban planning convention and response to population growth. There is seemingly no consideration for the character of the area, current community, time frame for population increase, flood plain, proximity to Huapai, transport and parking, short comings of similar residential developments or alternative centrally located sites better suited to this level of urban intensification. The acreage of land local to the villages renders this level of density redundant.
policy area a. - large format retail.
potential access locations.
adjustble policy area boundary.
kumeu town centre outline plan.
policy area d. - floodway.
policy area c. - residential.
policy area b. - town centre mixed use.
kumeu town centre plan and yield.
regional and catchment context. The Kumeu/Kaipara River Catchment Characteristics and General Description: The Kumeu/Kaipara River comprises of a single river system, with the upper reach of the main Kaipara River (above the confluence of the Waikoukou and Whakaramu Streams, near Waimauku) being known as the Kumeu River. The Kumeu/Kaipara River catchment covers a total area of approximately 26,700 hectares (267 km2), extending from the upstream reaches of the Kumeu River in the Waitakere Ranges in the south to the Kaipara Riverâ€™s confluence with the Kaukapakapa River in the north. It is one of the larger catchments within the Auckland Region. Drainage occurs northwards from the Waitakere Ranges and Riverhead Forest areas into the southern end of the Kaipara Harbour.6 Wider Context of the Kumeu/Kaipara River Catchment: The topography varies from the relatively steep Waitakere Ranges at a maximum elevation of over 200 metres above sea level to less than 5 metres in the tidal flats of the Kaipara River. The river itself has an extremely flat gradient over much of its length (over the 60 km length of river downstream of Taupaki, the channel falls just 40m). From the river mouth to the Davidson Road Bridge near Woodhill, the Kaipara River is tidal. Over this reach the river has a very shallow gradient. State Highway16 and the North Auckland Railway run the length of the catchment, in many places on embankments. In times of flood, and particularly in the lower catchment, these embankments may constrain flows either by confining and reducing the floodplain or by throttling flow and causing increased upstream ponding.6 The geology and soils of the Kaipara Valley consist of alluvium overlying base rocks of Waitemata Sandstone. The catchment contains a mosaic of soil types reflecting the diversity of parent materials, soils and vegetation present. Soils include those of flood plains, estuarine flats and former lake beds, undulating terraces and lowlands, and rolling and hilly land. Soils are generally made up of recent alluvium and unconsolidated silt and clay. Most of these soils have a high runoff and low infiltration capabilities.6 An archaeological survey was completed for the Kumeu River Floodway in 2006. This survey included a search of the NZAA Site File, which yielded no recorded sites of archaeological significance. While the area is known to have historical importance, particularly as a shipping route, the survey found that very little archaeological or historical evidence survives.7
^ 1:250,000. n.
u me ku er
ca hauraki gulf.
state highway 16 tunnel vision.
at kumeu and huapai.
wall between businesses and the river.
State Highway 16 is a major transit route with high traffic flow. Many motorists have no intention of stopping in Kumeu or Huapai as they pass through, they only focus on the road ahead. As a result of this, businesses line the road in an lineal nature in a hope of catching the attention of a potential customer as they pass through. This makes the villages feel as though they are heavily focused and reliant on the road. The Kumeu and Huapai villages are situated very close to the Kumeu/Kaipara river, but many visitors would never know it was there. The retail outlets that line State Highway 16 block the view to the river behind them. The industrial businesses that own most of the land that backs onto the river ignore this sensitive asset like a wall comes between them. The river is also prone to flooding which could affect the entire village if left unmanaged. The majority of land in the centres of Kumeu and Huapai are within the 50 year flood plain. The industrial businesses on the southern side of State Highway 16 spread along the road like the commercial businesses on the northern side. There is extra land zoned as industrial available behind these properties but it currently not being utilised to its potential. There is a demand among the residents for more industrial businesses in the area to provide more jobs but the current economy in the area will not support this.
lack of industrial intensification away from state highway 16.
faux isolation of kumeu and huapai from one another.
Huapai and Kumeu are located side by side and the connection between them is weak. The road and very narrow footpath is the only connection between the two. Pedestrians do not often use the footpath to travel between the villages. It is as though the two villages are kilometres apart when they are only separated by a few meters. I believe the villages need to be integrated more to strengthen this connection. The rate of population growth will increasingly become a problem in Kumeu and Huapai over the next 10 or so years. 6,303 people lived in the Kumeu area unit (which includes Kumeu, Huapai, Waimauku to the west and Riverhead to the east) at the time of the last census in 2006. The population was estimated to be 7,460 people in 2010 and the projected population for 2031 is 13,050. This indicates Kumeu will outgrow the population of 10,000 people by 2050 that was predicted by the Auckland Regional Growth Strategy in 1999 a lot quicker than originally expected. There is also the very real danger that these figures could grow even further as the statisticians get more information and of course as reality consistently proves the statistics to be incorrect. With these population predictions ever rising there needs to be a quick Auckland Council to growth in Kumeu and Huapai or these villages risk losing the distinct rural character that people love.
e. e. b. a.
a. g b. rass lan na c. vin tive v d. d. r eya eg e. etail rds. etati ind /co on . ust m ria me l. rci al.
rez fre onin ce que g d ntr nc ep e y al sq of u ndin ua re, se, o g on riv utl er oo acc an k a ess d i tra nd p bility ns po roxim , po rt h ity ten ub to tial .
ret rt h
changes and tests to master plan.
Changes to Master Plan: - Intangible links from the community (relationships built in groups, clubs, schools, workplaces etc.) can drive a physical link between Huapai and Kumeu. (This could be anything: a performing arts centre, library extension, gym, skate park, playground, amphitheatre or rugby field.) A community heart through a building or facility. - Spread and intensification on industrial zoned land to further develop economy. - Formation and maintenance of connections between zones. (Residential, commercial, industrial, recreational, educational, community.) - Integration of the Kumeu Masonic Lodge. - Repair and utilise the river and riparian zone to improve ecological health and amenity and ensure river access. - Native revegetation patch to improve ecological health in the region and amenity. - Integrate and complement the private surrounding rural grassland. - Retail development is needed to attract visitors that will support the economy and provide jobs. - Adaptable outdoor retail and event space. - Include links to vineyard/ orchard history and character. - Storm water management and cleansing through rain gardens wetlands that deal with the majority of storm water in the village. How my research relates to my design moves and changes: - Community input: Expansions as minimal as possible, links to vineyard/orchard history and character, restaurants/bars/cafes nurture community identity, show grounds link, river access, move masonic lodge. - Landscape Character Assessment: Integrate and complement surrounding rural grassland, repair and utilise river to improve ecological health and amenity. - Landscape Theory: Humpert - take kumeu/huapai from wegelagerer and introduce aspects of vernetzer and plan, Menzies â€“ develop a sense of place (perhaps through a statement piece) to nurture community identity, use of intangible links from the community to link huapai to kumeu physically. - Alternate Plans for the Site: Retail development needed to attract visitors that support economy and provide more jobs. - Case Studies: Make/maintain connections between zones, creating a style and feeling locals will want to embrace will nurture community identity. - Significant Buildings/Landscapes: Integrate Kumeu Masonic Lodge to develop a sense of place, show grounds link, river access.
int co ang bu mm ible a ilt in unit links p hu hys a p y (re from ap ica lac lat io th ai e l to link ) dr nsh e ku fro ive ips me m u.
flood plain solution.
fill raising topography by 1 meter to clear flood plain. new mixed use and public buildings. kumeu/kaipara river 50 year flood plain.
^ 1:5,000. n.
storm water flow.
^ 1:4,000. n.
original residential and retail buildings. original industrial buildings. potential sites for relocation of industrial buildings. new mixed use and public buildings. new roads.
1:5,000. ^ n.
existing medium density development within walking distance of the village centres. potential sites for medium density development within walking distance of the village centres. existing medium density development within a short drive of the village centres. potential sites for medium density development within a short drive of the village centres. kumeu/kaipara river 50 year flood plain.
^ 1:20,000. n.
ial c e onn
i/ku huapa il.
eta t/ r
kum r. rive
. 000 1:3,
share d spa ne. ce
far m ma ers rke ts.
riv er a
ec tio n.
kere r oad.
elevations. 1: 0.
b. a. a. b.
state highway 16.
timber piles to guide the rise and fall of the bridge. edged hardwood decking structure. 1:100.
flexible chain linked hardwood boardwalk.
adjoined 40 gallon drum flotation.
titoki street trees. railway line.
state highway 16.
boardwalk footpath. car parks.
rain gardens planted with raupo.
offices. passive through flow.
typical floating pontoon bridge.
shared space loop road. fill above floodplain. lawn.
typical road/rain garden/carpark/building relationship.
site overview. 53.
low impact bridges. 55.
wetland and river buffer planting. 57.
connecting view shafts.
I aimed to produce a structure plan for Kumeu and Huapai that will guide appropriate responses to growth pressure through the manipulation of spatial structure and landscape systems. The implementation and critical functions of a rigorous research, design and experimental process has led to an original, efficient, attractive and flexible landscape. The structure plan along with the resulting designs of multifunctional open spaces throughout the villages is considerate and sensitive to its environment whilst being a desirable destination for locals and other Aucklanderâ€™s to visit regularly. I believe I have equipped Kumeu and Huapai with the resource to endure the exponential growth that lies ahead with poise and style, whilst staying true and appropriate to the character and history of the area.
1. Natural England, http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/landscape/englands/character/default.aspx, Retrieved 10/06/2011. 2. Boffa Miskell Ltd, 1998. ‘Opotiki District Landscape Assessment.’ Opotiki District Council, Bay of Plenty. 3. Humpert K, 1992. ‘Das Phänomen der Stadt: Berichte aus Forschung und Lehre.’ Arbeitsbericht des Städtebaulichen Instituts der Universität Stuttgart, Städtebauliches Institut, Stuttgart. 4. Schaur E, 1992. ‘Mitteilungen des Instituts für leichte Flächentragwerke: Ungeplante Siedlungen. Non-planned Settlements.’ Karl Krämer, Stuttgart. Koenig, R, 2011. ‘Generating urban structures: A method for urban planning supported by multi-agent systems and cellular automata.’ Weimar Arbeitspapiere Informatik in der Architektur, Bauhaus Universität Weimar. (English interpretation of references 3 and 4). 5. Auckland Council, 10/03/2011, ‘Summary of Submissions by ID Private Plan Change 162 Kumeu Town Centre.’ Auckland Council Document 6. Rodney District Council, 2010. ‘Kumeu/Kaipara River Catchment Management Plan.’ Rodney District Council, Warkworth. 7. Clough & Associates, 2006. ‘Kumeu River Floodway Archaeological Survey.’ Rodney District Council, Warkworth.
Published on Oct 5, 2012
Rural Shift. Design and planning of Kumeu, Auckland. Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) Unitec Institute of Technology New Zealand