Karaka: Urban Growth Strategy

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LAND6225 Studio 5 BLA 3rd Year Project 1 Project by: Shayne Noronha, Riyasp Bhandari, Logan Pennington, Vaughan Mackenzie-Browne

Text of Karaka: Urban Growth Strategy

  • Riyasp BhandariShayne Noronha

    Vaughan Mackenzie-BrowneLogan Pennington


    An ethical approach to shape our cities

  • Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.

    Roman Payne, Cities & Countries

    In merging nature and culture the most successful cities combine such universal needs as maintaining or restoring contact with the cycles of nature, with specific, local characteristics. Sally A. Kitt Chappell, Chicagos Urban Nature: A Guide to the Citys Architecture + Landscape

  • Introduction:-Auckland Context-Auckland Unitary Plan-Karaka-Brief

    Context:-Existing Slopes and Elevation-Existing Vegetation-Existing Rivers and Buffer Zones-Hydrology-Existing Soil-Heritage Zones-Existing Transport Network-Collective Zone

    Proposal: -Design Model and Design Drivers-Core Zone-Proposed High Density Areas-Proposed Medium Density Areas-Proposed Low Density Areas-Proposed Agricultural Areas-Weymouth - Karaka Connection-Transport Proximity-Revegetation -Dwellings vs Community Requirements-Integrated Proposal Map-Intensity of Zones

    Final Note










    Auckland is New Zealands largest city, commercial centre and home to a third of the population. It is the dominant commercial focus of New Zealand with its large domestic market, infrastructure, port and airport, commercial expertise and diverse manufacturing and industrial base. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in Australasia. Alongside this growth is a growing demand for business, housing and a consequent increase in our use of infrastructure and natural resources. Growth and development provide new opportunities and make Auckland an exciting and vibrant place to live. However, if not managed well, growth can affect the health and amenity of our natural and physical environment that we value highly.

    This map/plan is illustrative only and all informationshould be independently verified on site before takingany action.Copyright Auckland Council. Boundaryinformation from LINZ (Crown Copyright Reserved).Whilst due care has been taken, Auckland Councilgives no warranty as to the accuracy and completenessof any information on this map/plan and accepts noliability for any error, omission or use of the information.Height datum: Auckland 1946.

    Map Title

    Created: Monday, 22 April 2013,1:41:45 p.m. Scale @ A4 1:760000


    Auckland is growing rapidly. Since 2001, Aucklands growth rate has been higher than other regions in New Zealand. The estimated population of Auckland is 1.4 billion and is projected to increase by one million over the next 30 years.

    There are two key drivers of population growth: natural increase (births minus deaths), and positive net migration. Historically, population gains from natural increase have been relatively consistent. However, gains from immigration have been more variable and subject to national and international factors.

    The Unitary Plan has two key functions. Firstly, it describes how we will manage our natural and physical resources while enabling growth and development and protecting the things we value. This will help council to carry out its functions and achieve the purpose of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) as a regional council and a district council.

    Secondly, it will help make Auckland a quality place to live, attractive to people and businesses and a place where environments and social standards are respected. It is also the key tool for implenting the Auckland Plan, the 30-year spatial plan and vision to make Auckland the worlds most liveable city.

  • 6Home to just over 6000, Karaka is traditionally a rural district, with only around 2000 homes that inhabit the area today. A young population with a median age of 38, Karaka is best known for its production of thoroughbred horses and sales that attract buyers from all over the world. Currently the area is being used as farmland, this is due to its highly fertile soil, flat open spaces and ecologically rich environment producing high quality stock and exports. Before the forming of the Auckland super city, Karaka was part of the Franklin district about 30mins from central Auckland. Surrounded by the Manukau harbor and boarded by Weymouth to the north, Karaka has the potential for a substantial urban development.

    With the urban sprawling pattern that Auckland is going through, Karaka is in an optimal place to develop. Taking inspiration from other rural developments like Flatbush and the Albany transport hub, Karaka can be transformed into an example urban development, showcasing innovation and ecological planning. Planning a site that is at its forefront of modern thinking and accessible to all forms of public transport, creating a community that can set a standard for Aucklands progression.


    SCALE: 1:100000

    View of Karaka from Weymouth

    View of development at Milano Boulevard

    Productive Rural style living at the North most point of Karaka

  • 7BRIEF


    To recognise and analyse the main landscape factors, elements, processes and patterns within the wider Auckland region in order to:

    a) Identify areas where innovative forms of settlement growth can be located (identified) and implemented

    b) Illustrate and demonstrate landscape architectural analyses and design processes to support informed spatial decision making

    c) Apply landscape ecological design principles to measure and enhance ecological performance

    Develop a growth strategy (structure plan) for an area that is located around south of Aucklands urban edge (around Karaka).

    The growth strategy should be based on sound analyses of the hydrological catchment/s your site is positioned within, as well as, its local and regional context. These analyses form the base performative materials that give rise to an infinite array of interpretations or logics.


    Analyzing the existing landform in terms of slope and elevation allows us to allocate exactly where we have the potential to develop. The slopes greater than 15 have been retired. These areas will not be a logical place to carry out urban development. However, from looking at the retired slope areas we can see that Karakas landform is mainly flat, allowing for development across a majority of the area (statement based only on the topographical information gathered). These slopes could however accommodate a number of vegetation species and be the basis for a revegetation scheme.


    15 Slope

    SCALE: 1:40000


    Based on the information gathered, there is a very small number of existing native vegetation. Even though urban development is the future for the area, it is important that we see the increase in native vegetation and retain the natural features within the landscape. It is important to find ways to keep the population growth proportional to the growth of vegetation species instead of prioritizing between them. It is possible to integrate ecology within the urban environment and move towards a positive development paradigm of urban areas.


    Broadleaved Indigenous Hardwoods

    Lake and Pond


    Indigenous Forest

    SCALE: 1:40000

  • 10


    There are a number of rivers and streams that make its way into the Karaka. These link to Pahurehure Inlet, Bottle Top Bay and the Papakura Channel which all feed into the Manukau Harbour which is the second largest natural harbour in New Zealand by area. With this flowing connection, it is important to filter our systems naturally through vegetation so that Karaka as a city will continue to promote the ethical development paradigm. A 15m buffer around these rivers display the existing space for vegetation that is used to secure the steep banks.


    15m Vegetation Buffer Zone


    SCALE: 1:40000

  • 11


    A floodplain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river that stretches from the banks of its channel to the base of the enclosing valley walls and experiences flooding during periods of high discharge. Floodplains can support particularly rich ecosystems, both in quantity and diversity. Wetting of the floodplain soil releases an immediate surge of nutrients: those left over from the last flood, and those that result from the rapid decomposition of organic matter that has accumulated since then. The production of nutrients peaks and falls away quickly; however the surge of new growth endures for some time. This makes floodplains particularly valuable for agriculture. Within the next 100 years, Karaka will not be affected by flooding, which will cause no threat or harm on the urban proposal.



    100 year Floodplain

    SCALE: 1:40000

  • 12

    From looking at the soil on the Karaka landscape, we can see that a majority of the landscape contains rich soils that are ideal for agricultural processes. With minor limitations, we can map out areas where urban development can be applied, so that the productive character of the landscape can be retained whilst addressing the growing population issue. In terms of revegetation, the quality of the lan