Conference 2003

Conference 2003
Greening the City:
Bringing Biodiversity Back
into the Urban Environment


Mainstreaming Low Impact Urban Design and Development (LIUDD): a Platform for Urban Biodiversity

Charles Eason (Landcare Research, Auckland),
Jenny Dixon and Marjorie van Roon
(Department of Planning, University of Auckland)

Conventional development practices have led to increasing pressure on ecological systems in and around rapidly growing urban areas. For example, stormwater runoff from proliferating impervious surfaces results in increased levels of pollutants in urban waterways, damaging ecosystems and biodiversity in receiving waters such as urban streams, estuaries and harbours. Low Impact Urban Design and Development (LIUDD) aims to mitigate these impacts by identifying sensitive areas to allow optimum land use and utilising natural systems to control pollution.

Some local authorities in New Zealand have recognized the opportunities for environmental protection and infrastructural cost-savings by producing a variety of low-impact strategies and guidelines. Nevertheless, major constraints remain, arising from consumer and practitioner behaviour, deficient pricing of resources such as water, conflicts between stakeholder groups, and variable quality of planning instruments. Significant work is required to overcome obstacles and achieve the broad-scale uptake of LIUDD that is necessary to make significant improvements in environmental quality.

We report here on findings from a literature review on low impact urban design and development (LIUDD) and preliminary results from working with key stakeholder groups: consumers, community, developers and regional and city councils. We conclude that, in order to create a platform for urban biodiversity, a four-pronged strategy is needed, addressing technical, economic and regulatory issues as well as getting buy-in from major stakeholder groups.

Conference sponsored by:

British Council NZ
The Community Trust
Landcare Research

Follow this link to view other organisations supportive of the conference

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Last updated: October 12, 2003