The Hobsonville vision is “to set new benchmarks for sustainable urban development and build a community that is available to people from all sectors of society”. HNZC is leading by example; as leaders in the housing market, lifting the bar on development.
The rigorous matrix of sustainability indicators developed in this first six months of the project range across zero emission levels, on-site jobs, degree of participation in community activities, Turangawaewae (sense of place), native bird counts, and percentages of household income spent on housing, transport and energy. The stunning natural features of the site lend themselves to creating a destination to visit (by ferry ideally), as well as to live: 270° views of the water, existing green fingers, mangrove swamps, a rich defence history, the full spectrum of related buildings, and stunning blue harbour.
Designs developed to date with Boffa Miskell (in conjunction with Geoffrey Walker Urban Design, Architectus, Landcare Research, Market Economics Ltd, Flow Transportation Specialists, Salmond Reed Architects, and Fraser Thomas) indicate that this mixed use, mixed income development community can accommodate 2,500-3,000 units and 21% open space. By comparison a conventional development on the site would produce 1,300-1,800 units and 10% open space.
Hobsonville faces some significant challenges: value judgements from some about State rental on such desirable land and the need between now and end of 2006 calendar year to get the Metropolitan Urban Limit shifted so that the land can be zoned residential. Given that, it’s very gratifying that at a recent briefing the comments of key Auckland Mayors included “please set your goals very high” and this “is the beginning of the future”.