Appointed by Tauranga City Council, RPS urban design and economics specialists will help inform council’s planning for the region, specifically in terms of location and density of housing and commercial and retail opportunities.
RPS Regional Technical Director – Urban Design Peter Egerton said the project involved understanding the complexities of balancing commercial realities against planning scheme expectations and a constantly changing market.
“From our experience of similar sized projects in a variety of growth corridors, we have a strong understanding housing product, housing choices and the realities of densities being achieved,” explained Peter “The constant balance with managing urban growth is to provide a framework that encourages innovation and better settlement patterns with the appropriate infrastructure and service provision. If there is a mismatch either way the existing community pays a price.”
Tauranga’s City’s population of 111,000 people has almost doubled in the last 20 years and by 2021 is expected to reach 141,000.
Te Tumu Urban Growth Area is approximately 760ha of land located within the Tauranga coastal strip, around 20-30 kilometres from the Tauranga City Centre.
Currently used for farming, the area is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the north, the Kaitana River, rural land to the east and south and the Wairakei urban growth area to the west in which residential development is now underway.
RPS Technical Director William Owen who will deliver the economics component said that when planning for major growth corridors, social and economic outcomes were equally as important as the delivery of land use outcomes.
“The focus is on a new sustainable community that will provide high levels of local employment while contributing to broader regional social and economic outcomes, he said “Our experience shows that investigation of economic need for retail/commercial opportunities must also consider broader impacts to established centres.”