Introduction Print

Neighbourhood and subdivision design ​​​​​is a crucial step in the development of Auckland's greenfield and brownfield areas. ​​
Many areas across the Auckland region are being developed or redeveloped to accommodate a strong demand for housing. The way a neighbourhood or subdivision is designed is fundamental to its quality and character. Its design will have a significant impact on the quality of life of its residents and the sustainability of its communities. The importance of delivering good neighbourhood design cannot be understated, once a street pattern is formed and land is subdivided, a long-term urban form is created that is very difficult to change. Therefore, promoting and demanding well-designed neighbourhoods and subdivisions is an integral part of providing for the high quality residential growth and sustainability outcomes expected for the Auckland region.​​​​​​​​​​

This guidance describes how to create a well-designed residential neighbourhood. There are many factors to be considered in the design of a neighbourhood, including stormwater management systems, road hierarchy, lot size and shape and street design. These factors impact upon each other and collectively influence a development's final form. The interconnectivity of these elements means that neighbourhoods must be carefully designed.

The guidance in this section applies to medium to large scale urban neighbourhood and subdivision developments, not rural or 'lifestyle block' subdivision or small scale infill. It also relates to land subdivision only, not internal building subdivision.

The subdivision section is organised around the six elements of urban development:

  • Natural environment
  • Movement networks
  • Use and activity
  • Urban structure
  • Built form
  • Community 

These elements connect to or affect each other within any site, development or setting. 

For each element, there is an outcome that every subdivision should aim to achieve. Together, these outcomes describe the multiple objectives that all subdivisions must consider. 

Other sections of the Auckland Design Manual also contain guidance relevant to subdivision design, especially the housing and park guidance sections.

A design statement is a useful tool for informing the design of a proposed neighbourhood or subdivision. A design statement consists of detailed information about your site, and a detailed account of how and why your design decisions were made. The process of producing a design statement requires careful thought and analysis of your site from many different perspectives, and helps to achieve the best result for your site, the local area and Auckland.

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