The Summit will take place against a backdrop of competing priorities for New Zealand land use that are disrupting the balance between social, economic and environmental needs. It comes at a time when a confluence of factors are straining the nation’s residential sector.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has exposed New Zealand’s housing affordability as one of the worst in the OECD; Horticulture New Zealand reports the country lost approximately 10,000 hectares of horticultural land to housing in just 15 years between 2001 and 2016 as a result of urban sprawl; and Statistics New Zealand reports that home ownership is the lowest it has been in 66 years with only 63.2 percent of people owning their own homes versus the record high of 73.8 percent in 1991.
These factors, combined with the largest ever increase in New Zealand’s population growth in the year ended June 2017 (100,400, Statistics New Zealand), have implored ADNZ, one of the country’s leading professional bodies for Architects and Architectural Designers, to act.
“An established and celebrated architectural typology offshore, medium density housing is progressively gaining traction in New Zealand. Nearly 60 percent of new consents in Auckland city and inner-city suburbs in the past year have been for construction of this type of housing. Auckland’s Beaumont Quarter and Vinegar Lane are living examples, but there is still significant scope to explore and realise the opportunities it affords,” says ADNZ CEO Astrid Andersen.
“Medium Density Housing is affordable to buy and live in; meets the requirements of a diverse community with mixed housing options; creates communities; keeps New Zealand arable land for arable use and fulfils key sustainability principles. When done well, medium density can benefit the whole of New Zealand; we see improved health outcomes, less car usage and less power usage. The summit demonstrates ADNZ’S commitment to pioneering this important cause.”
Keynote speaker Dave Strachan of Strachan Group Architects (SGA) adds: “There is no doubt we have a huge demand for well-designed, healthy, affordable housing at much greater densities than is typical for New Zealand. The challenge is for all building designers, irrespective of what scale we may be working at, to meet this demand. Modern methods of prefabrication offer some solutions to meet this demand. Our focus at SGA is to design contemporary, climate responsive, healthy homes that will enhance people’s lives and foster strong communities.”
Medium Density Housing Summit tickets are available at http://mdhs.co.nz/ with registration also open for the Medium Density Housing Summit Free Public Lecture on Wednesday 11 April. The lecture will be led by Mads Mandrup Hansen, architect and partner at C.F. Møller Architects in Denmark.