Motu Design offers a range of urban design services tailored to meet your needs

The Motu Design team are experienced at working with a wide range of professionals on projects of varying scales and complexity.  Whether you need assistance with a medium density residential development, a major infrastructure project, or a new plan change, our integrated and sustainable approach to urban development will add value to your project.   Our services include:

Our approach to urban design is best summarized in the following whakatauki / proverb:

 

Ka tu korua aroaro ki te aroaro, ka haere anake korua ki tetahi taha atu ranei, a, ka haere pea korua ki muri. Mehemea  e hiahia ana korua ki te haere tahi ki mua, me haere korua taha ki te taha.

When two people stand face to face you can only step sideways or go back. If you both wish to go forward, only when you walk side by side can you go forward together.

Urban Design & Design Statements

 

We encourage, and prefer, a collaborative design process. Our expertise is in masterplanning, site layout, placemaking and building typology design, combined with our local knowledge of the issues of importance to communities and planning approval in New Zealand, bring significant value to design teams. Our work is always based on a thorough understanding of a site, its planning constraints and opportunities, and its unique context to enable urban design issues to be addressed early in the design process.  In our experience, Design Statements that document and assist in communicating the opportunities and constraints of a site and its context are also important to assist in achieving quality design outcomes, good communication with council and within project teams, and robust assessments of effects to support Resource Consent applications.

 

Our design services include:

  • Collaboration with architects, traffic engineers, development engineers, and other specialists on the design of medium-density residential developments, retail/mixed use developments, apartments and subdivisions.
  • Feasibility studies and concept designs for retail/mixed use and multi-unit residential development proposals.
  • Subdivision design including lot layout and street design.
  • Residential concept designs for terraced houses, including basic typologies and site layout
  • Master plans, precincts plans and structure plans, for large scale staged development.
  • Documented site and context analysis to inform design processes and consent applications, including detailed streetscape and local area character studies when required.
  • Production of Design Statements to support design and Resource Consent process
  • Working with Mana Whenua to ensure integration of values and cultural/heritage expression including Te Aranga design principles.
  • Integration of heritage and ecological features into development proposals.
  • Integration of best practice principles such as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, Universal Design, Water Sensitive Design, Living Communities, and Auckland Design Manual principles within development proposals.

Design Review and Urban Design Assessments

 

Most projects benefit from robust design review and assessment.  As part of the Resource Consent process, urban design assessments are typically required by Auckland Council to support large and complex developments.  Motu Design provides design review and assessment services to both public and private clients.  We are a preferred supplier to Auckland Council for the provision of urban design assessments on Resource Consents, and have been since the amalgamation of local councils in 2010 (and North Shore City Council and Auckland City Council before that).

 

Urban Design Assessments (Development Projects)

 

We work with our client’s project team throughout the design and consenting process to ensure Resource Consent is achieved. Services include:

  • Identifying potential urban design issues and finding design solutions where possible to avoid consenting issues
  • Ensuring compliance with Auckland Unitary Plan development controls, and/or ensuring design proposals are within the scope of town planning discretion and are designed to mitigate potential adverse environmental effects.
  • Supplying detailed urban design assessment reports for lodgment of Resource Consent including assessments of shading and visual dominance effects; streetscape, urban and landscape character effects; and residential amenity effects.
  • Presentation to the Auckland Urban Design Panel when required.
  • Presentation and discussion with Auckland Council officers as and when required
  • Provision of Expert Evidence at Hearings if required.

 

We have worked on range of complex retail, residential and commercial developments. Refer to our projects page for some examples.

 

Urban Design Assessments (Local Government)

 

Over the last 10 years we have undertaken urban design assessments for Auckland Council on a wide range of residential and commercial developments of varying scales and complexity, and multiple consents for development within Albany Centre.  We are experienced at assessing high profile, complex and non-complying or discretionary consents to ensure a fair assessment of effects, inclusive of instigating good public amenity outcomes as part of the process.  We encourage the positive resolution of key issues at pre-application stage in order to streamline the consenting process.

 

Our service to Auckland Council’s Auckland Design Office includes:

  • Providing advice at pre-application meetings
  • Taking applications to the Auckland Urban Design Panel for review when necessary
  • Undertaking urban design assessments that can be relied upon by planners in their Assessment of Environment Effects.
  • Assessing compliance with Auckland Unitary Plan (AUP) development controls, and/or assessing whether the potential effects of a proposal are acceptable with respect to the AUP provisions.
  • Supporting planners with respect to their decisions on Public Notification.
  • Negotiating design changes to reduce adverse effects, or recommending consent conditions.
  • Attending public hearings for notified Resource Consents when required.
  • Providing further assessment of variations to existing Resource Consents.
  • Assessment of compliance with consent conditions.
  • Providing Expert Evidence.

 

Urban Design Panels

 

Tracy Ogden-Cork is the director of Motu Design Ltd and provides design review services for independent Urban Design Panels and can assist with the formation of panels and terms of reference.

In 2012 Tracy was appointed to the Auckland Urban Design Panel.  This panel is made up of industry experts from the professions of Architecture, Planning, Landscape Architecture and Property and provides independent design reviews of significant projects to inform council’s urban design assessments, and to pro-actively encourage best practice design outcomes in the city.

Tracy has also provided urban design advice on the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s Urban Design Panel.

 

Expert Evidence

 

Resource Consents that have been publicly notified often benefit from a fresh review and the provision of specialist urban design evidence to support the applicant’s design team or submitters in public hearings.

We can provide expert evidence on the overall quality of design, shading, visual dominance, privacy, amenity, character, public realm and residential amenity effects, as well as the integrity of a design in a holistic sense, including positive effects.

 

We have worked for both applicant’s and submitters, refer to our projects page for examples.

Plan Changes

 

Planning instruments such as structure plans, precinct plans and area specific provisions are all important to achieving co-ordinated, sustainable urban development with a unique sense of place, but are most effective when developed with a comprehensive design led process.

 

We can lead, or work within your project team to provide urban design services that include:

  • Initial scoping of constraints and opportunities in relation to local context
  • Consultation with mana whenua, community and stakeholders
  • Co-creation of vision outcomes, and identification of opportunities to provide enhanced outcomes, to support wairua/ecology, social/cultural outcomes and development feasibility.
  • Multi-disciplinary collaborative design processes
  • Master-planning options for the development of an area
  • Analysis to assess development options
  • Indicative development testing, to test proposed provisions
  • The creation of a ‘structure plan’ or ‘precinct plan’ and associated provisions, design guidelines/assessment criteria and objectives and policies
  • Plans and reports as required to support recommendations
  • Presentation of plan change information
  • Review and response to submissions
  • Expert urban design evidence
  • Peer reviews and assessments of proposed plan changes
  • Submissions on plan changes

Community Projects

 

Cities are for people, and supporting existing and future communities is at the heart of good urban design and place-making.  It is important to ensure that what is being planned and developed will meet the diversity of different people’s needs and aspirations, both now and in the future.  At Motu Design we are always keen to be part of projects that seek to facilitate community input, collaboration and capacity building as part of improving planning, design and development processes.

 

Our urban design services include:

  • Development of community engagement strategies
  • Facilitation of community meetings
  • Facilitation community urban design workshops
  • Production of documents for consultation
  • Assistance with design briefs, and formulation of community visions and strategic objectives
  • Concept design and feasibility studies for plan changes, public spaces or places
  • Character studies
  • Integration of best practice principles such as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, Universal Design, Water Sensitive Design, Living Communities, and Auckland Design Manual.
  • Integration of Mana Whenua values and cultural/heritage in design process and outcomes including Te Aranga design principles.
  • Submissions on behalf of community groups as part of plan changes or consultation processes
  • Expert urban design evidence on plan changes or resource consents, on behalf of submissions by community groups

 

See our projects page for more information and to learn more about our Urban Design Capacity Building Workshops for community groups.

Landscape Design

 

Landscape design is an important contributor to  good urban design, in particular within the context of New Zealand where landscape features are integral to the beauty and character of our cities.  However, the tighter and more intensive a development area is, the more intentional we need to be in responding carefully to landscape, and integrating landscape design and planting within development proposals to ensure high amenity outcomes, and a healthy ecology.  Motu Design provides a range of landscape design services, and we collaborate with other companies to provide additional services when required.

 

Our services include:

  • Integration of urban design and local context or ecological features into landscape plans
  • Public or communal space design strategies
  • Landscape character studies
  • Detailed Landscape Concept Plans for multi-unit residential developments, including;
  • Attractive and functional private outdoor living spaces
  • Fencing and boundary treatment for privacy and street amenity
  • Planting palettes, specifications and maintenance plans
  • Design of pervious and impervious paved areas
  • Integration of required residential amenities such as management of rubbish bins
  • Ensuring compliance with Auckland Unitary Plan provisions for landscaping to support residential amenity
  • Planting for street design
  • Integration of best practice principles such as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, Universal Design, Water Sensitive Design, Living Communities, and Auckland Design Manual principles into landscape design concepts.
  • Integration of Mana Whenua values and cultural/heritage through design process and outcomes including Te Aranga design principles into landscape design concepts.

Street Design

 

Streets form an important part of cities providing for movement, services and access, as well as being public spaces that support residential amenity, commercial activity, social interaction and healthy environments.  Motu Design is experienced at working with engineers on the design of streets to provide unique design responses that balance landscape design with the needs of various users and the functional engineering requirements of different modes of transport.  This includes shared space streets, and we were the designers of Orchard Way, the first residential shared space street to be formally accepted by Auckland Transport’s traffic control committee.

 

Our services include:

  • Masterplanning and precinct planning to determine street hierarchy.
  • Street cross-section design in response to transport requirements and planned land use.
  • Identification of potential links for alternative street design.
  • Concept design for shared space streets and streets of high amenity
  • Working with traffic and civil engineers on alternative design solutions, such as shared space streets, for both public or private streets.
  • Liaison with Auckland Transport and Auckland Council specialists
  • Reports and documentation required to support Resource Consent applications, and other permission required by Auckland Council / Auckland Transport.
  • Urban design review and assessment of proposed street design.
  • Integration of local context features into street design to maximize contribution to sense of place.
  • Integration of best practice principles such as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, Universal Design, Water Sensitive Design, Living Communities, and Auckland Design Manual principles into landscape design concepts.

Motu Design offers a range of urban design services tailored to meet your needs

The Motu Design team are experienced at working with a wide range of professionals on projects of varying scales and complexity.  Whether you need assistance with a medium density residential development, a major infrastructure project, or a new plan change, our integrated and sustainable approach to urban development will add value to your project.   Our services include:

The Motu Design team are experienced at working with a wide range of professionals on projects of varying scales and complexity.  Whether you need assistance with a medium density residential development, a major infrastructure project, or a new plan change, our integrated and sustainable approach to urban development will add value to your project.   Our services include: