About the Urban Design Protocol

This page provides information about the New Zealand Urban Design Protocol.

What is the New Zealand Urban Design Protocol?

Girl playing hopscotch

The New Zealand Urban Design Protocol is a voluntary commitment to specific urban design initiatives by signatory organisations, which include central and local government, the property sector, design professionals, professional institutes and other groups.

The collective actions individual signatories take make a significant difference to the quality and success of urban design in our towns and cities helping them become:

  • competitive places that thrive economically and facilitate creativity and innovation
  • liveable places that provide a choice of housing, work and lifestyle options
  • healthy environments that sustains people and nature
  • inclusive places that offer opportunities for all citizens
  • distinctive places that have a strong identity and sense of place
  • well-governed places that have a shared vision and sense of direction.

Design qualities - the seven Cs

The Protocol identifies seven essential design qualities that together create quality urban design:

  • Context: seeing that buildings, places and spaces are part of the whole town or city
  • Character: reflecting and enhancing the distinctive character, heritage and identity of our urban environment
  • Choice: ensuring diversity and choice for people
  • Connections: enhancing how different networks link together for people
  • Creativity: encouraging innovative and imaginative solutions
  • Custodianship: ensuring design is environmentally sustainable, safe and healthy
  • Collaboration: communicating and sharing knowledge across sectors, professions and with communities.

The Protocol was launched in March 2005.

NZ Urban Design Protocol