Action plans

This page outlines what action plans are, how they are developed and monitored, and why they are important. It also includes links to supporting resources including an action pack and action plan template for recording actions.

What action plans are

Action plans are a set of actions prepared by a signatory organisation of the Urban Design Protocol demonstrating their commitment to creating quality urban design. 

Each signatory will have different actions to suit their particular circumstances. Protocol signatory actions should be challenging, ambitious and updated on a regular basis.

A signatory organisation should submit an action plan within three months of signing up to the Protocol.

Mandatory actions

The only mandatory action for an Urban Design Protocol signatory organisation is to appoint an urban design champion, see Appointing an urban design champion. However, if you want to get the most out of being an Urban Design Protocol signatory then an action plan that is regularly updated is a very important and useful process.

The importance of action plans

Action plans specify the actions that a signatory organisation will complete as part of their commitment to the Urban Design Protocol, and the timeframe.  The design and implementation of an urban design action plan is dependent on the nature and needs of the organisation.

How do I write up my action plan?

Action plans should be high level and depict how your organisation will reach its strategic urban design goals. Remember that urban design as defined in Protocol is very broad and your action plan should reflect this. Discussing your action plan within your organisation with other Protocol signatories and the Ministry creates robust and shared actions.

Your organisation needs to take ownership of the actions at multiple levels. It is therefore important to involve everyone including senior management and political members in the action plan discussions so that everyone owns the actions and resources can be committed to the implementation of your plan.

Consider actions that can:

  • have measurable outcomes
  • provide you with short and long-term wins
  • be part of the mission of your organisation and can develop urban design processes and projects into your everyday work programmes
  • be maintained and achieved with the resources of your organisation
  • be aligned with other reporting, reviews or monitoring functions of your organisation
  • break down silos in your organisation and build urban design expertise and capacity. The creation of quality urban design requires collaboration across disciplines to succeed.

Supporting resources

There are a number of supporting resources available to help signatories write action plans:

Submitted action plans are held in a database

All actions received from Protocol signatories are held electronically and input into the Ministry for the Environment’s Action Plan Database. The Action Plan Database provides information on the type of action and a detailed description of the action. This information is then used for desktop monitoring. Previous action plans can be printed out for your signatory organisation on request.

Monitoring action plans

Action plan monitoring will occur on a regular basis. Detailed monitoring has occurred in 2006 and 2009 in the form of a survey of signatory organisations. 

The New Zealand Urban Design Protocol Action Plan progress report 2006 provided baseline information on the implementation of the Protocol.

The Taking stock of the Urban Design Protocol and Action Plan monitoring 2009 and Technical report took place when the Protocol had 174 signatories and evaluated signatory action plans and carried out a wider evaluation of the Protocol programme.

Updating action plans

Action plans should be updated on a regular basis to make sure they are relevant to the signatory organisations policies, programmes and implementation projects. The Ministry will contact the signatory organisations to update their action plans to coincide with action plan monitoring.

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