Tag Archives: Sustainable design

WILD about Wanaka

### ODT Online Sat, 14 Aug 2010
Developments dismay landscape architect
By Matthew Haggart
As residential subdivisions in Wanaka continue to expand the town’s boundaries, the approach of some developers has saddened the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s top landscape consultant. Dr Marion Read, the chief landscape architect at QLDC’s regulatory authority Lake Environmental, says major earthworks associated with some Wanaka developments are destroying parts of the landscape’s most distinctive features.
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### ODT Online Sat, 14/08/2010 – 10:14pm.
Comment by qksmith on Landscape Issues
While I am the first to be critical of landscape issues in the district, I think we have to accept that where land is zoned for LDR that we are dealing with a highly modified environment.
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LDR = Low Density Residential

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Don’t mind my aportioning blame, rightly or wrongly it’s a considered opinion…more like a bad reaction. Of course, Dunedin isn’t free of sprawl at the hands of some people active in Wanaka.

### ODT Online Sun, 15/08/2010 – 6:52pm.
Comment by ej kerr on Wanaka is sprawl

Being an experienced planner or not is hardly relevant when the adverse cumulative effects of house building are totalled for the Wanaka district landscape.

I fully support the comments, as reported, of Dr Marion Read.

My most recent visit to Wanaka two days ago has again reinforced how inadequate the local district plan is to counter unwarranted housing sprawl.

Half the battle might be with the drive of property owners to create (uncritically) an acontextual, uncompromising slice of suburbia in the extraordinarily picturesque, wild and weathered countryside.

Developers of the subdivisions (a small group of influential citizens whom we know by name), like the property owners, are equally uncritical of the environmental impacts of the sprawl they foster, and derive their not inconsiderable profits from.

This hedonistic activity – speculative building – which does not spring from best practice in landscape architecture, architecture (by registered architects), or sustainable environmental design – is supported (‘controlled’) by an ineffectually dull, unresponsive fabric of arbitrary local authority ‘planning’ decisions (zone rules) constraining the use of colour, gables, materials, height plane angles, non reflective surfaces, bulk and location, density et al.

The result is an impoverished sameness, an unspeakably heavy dreariness in the now over-built environment. An eyesore almost without end that submerges/denies the incredible three-dimensional topographical variances of the natural landscape. It might be expensive, it might be what the market demands, it might be what the bulldozer invites, but this is dumbed down contemporary building development at its illogical worst.

The full battle most probably rests with ‘regional planning’ education and professional practice development in New Zealand that is rather too dependent on quasi-legal/legal experiment with the RMA clause and bland generalities of rural zoning – without mandatory professionally accredited multi-disciplinary training in contextual design processes and environmental sustainability.

The collective forces suburbanising Wanaka should be halted. This is not sustainable.

A moratorium, a re-think. District intelligence must be raised for the stewardship and protection of landscape values, inviting informed sympathetic design responses for the making of comfortable ‘dwelling place’…there should be no need for hackles and loss of hair with each visit to Wanaka.

This is a district for smart design, not stuffy inert planning that expects less of the development community than it has to give.

Elizabeth Kerr, Dunedin

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Dunedin social housing

Recent discussion of social housing for Dunedin has been taking place on another thread.

What if? has copied and linked the previous conversations to this thread.

2010/07/29 at 9:33 pm
kate said:
{substituting new link from the DCC website -Eds}

Social Housing Strategy (PDF, 1.6 mb, new window)
The Social Housing Strategy provides a platform for the consideration of social housing issues right across Dunedin. Social housing is defined as the provision of accommodation assistance for individuals and families whose housing needs or circumstances are not adequately provided for by the private sector. The Strategy also directly addresses issues regarding the Dunedin City Council’s own social housing stock.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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Sustainability: Andrew Wallace, industrial designer

ODT Online Sat, 13 Mar 2010
Hot water design from Otago to Washington
By John Lewis
Andrew Wallace is in hot water after designing, for domestic housing, a water heating system which uses solar radiation. Mr Wallace is a professional practice fellow in the design studies department at the University of Otago. His research project has been chosen to heat water in Victoria University’s sustainable house, which is entered in the United States Department of Energy solar decathlon in Washington DC next year.
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Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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