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Networking and sharing information

The survey results presented in this section of the report identify the extent to which Signatories are networking and sharing information, and the level of value they have received from undertaking such activities.

Events and activities

This research clearly reveals that the urban design related networking events and seminars (including those organised by the Ministry) are providing value to those who attend (refer Chart 4). For example, half of all respondents (51 percent) who have attended an Urban Design Protocol event (for example, the Urban Design Symposium 2008, and the Review of Urban Design Case Law Seminar 2009) reported it was somewhat valuable. A further one in three (34 percent) reported the events were extremely valuable. This equates to more than four out of five respondents rating the Urban Design Protocol events they have attended as being of value.

A similar result can be seen for networking groups or activities not organised by the Ministry (a total of 90 percent rating this of value), and other seminars and symposiums (a total of 92 percent rating this of value).

No significant differences were found between respondent groups.

Chart 4: Value received from attending events chart 4 value received from attending events

Base: Respondents who have attended each of the events (excludes no answer)

The graph shows the value received from attending specific events. For Urban Design Protocol events 34 per cent of signatory organisations reported that the events was extremely valuable, 51 per cent found them somewhat of value, 4 per cent found them of little or no value and 11 per cent were unsure.For Networking groups or activities not organised by the Ministry 30 per cent of signatory organisations reported that the events was extremely valuable, 60 per cent found them somewhat of value, 3 per cent found them of little or no value and 8 per cent were unsure.For other seminars and symposiums 41 per cent of signatory organisations reported that the events was extremely valuable, 51 per cent found them somewhat of value, 2 per cent found them of little or no value and 6 per cent were unsure.

Exchanging information and supporting others

In line with the previous result, this research also reveals that those organisations who are exchanging information and supporting others are receiving considerable value from doing so (refer Chart 5). For example, of those respondents who reported exchanging urban design related information and research with others, one in two (55 percent) reported this was extremely valuable, while a further one in three respondents (38 percent) reported this was somewhat valuable.

Likewise, a similar result can also be found among those who support other organisations, with 86 percent reporting they have received value from doing so.

Chart 5: Value received from knowledge transfer and support chart 5 value received from knowledge transfer and support

Base: Respondents who have undertaken the activities (excludes no answer)

The graph shows the value received from knowledge transfer and support from two different types of exchange. Of those signatory organisations supporting other organisations, 42 per cent found it extremely valuable, 44 per cent found is somewhat of value, 4 per cent found it of little or no value and 10 per cent were unsure. Of those signatory organisations exchanging urban design related information and research with others, 55 per cent found it extremely valuable, 38 per cent found is somewhat of value, -2 per cent found it of little or no value and -5 per cent were unsure.

In line with this, respondents were then asked to comment on how their organisation has supported others. A total of 69 respondents provided this feedback.

  • Providing advice and guidance was the most frequently mentioned method of supporting others for most respondents.

    Provided the links to long term health outcomes of good urban design, improve wellbeing, improve and protect environmental health and reduce impact of non communicable disease.


    Providing information to [local government] as input into different working streams of the [local government].


    Provide advice and support to other practitioners and clients.


    I provided feedback on the [local government] Transport Strategy, participated in a health impact assessment for the [local government] Transport Strategy, and consult to various agencies ...


    Assisting traffic engineers to think outside of standards and regulations in order to create prototypes for a more pedestrian oriented, walkable environment


    Helped [organisation] set up their local urban design guidance documents for new roads and related developments.


    Encouraging clients and consultants urban design principles.

  • Some respondents commented that working in collaboration with others was how their organisation supported others.

    Joint ventures with other consultancies- is good for both practices involved.


    forming multidiscipline masterplan teams...


    Research collaborations on urban ecology and low impact urban design


    Collaboration with other developers who are engaged in urban design initiatives.


    Working with local authority and other partner developers regarding plan change and urban design policy etc.


    Jointly prepared a Guide for the preparation of Outline Development Plans.


    We also support our clients and work with the community in providing pro bono services (which includes urban design elements).

  • Participating in urban design related discussion groups and forums was another example some respondents mentioned of how their organisation supported others.

    Two of our staff are currently volunteer committee members to the Urban Design Forum.


    Membership of Urban Design Panel of Hamilton City. Membership of Environmental Sustainability leadership forum.


    Involvement with the WRS Urban Design Stocktake Working Group.


    RDC established AU DOG (Auckland Urban Design Officers Group) the very purpose of this group was to meet and network with other practitioners across the Auckland Region (and beyond).


    I have been involved with the NZ Institute of Surveyors as a Councillor for 4 years and then as the first of the Institute Design Champions.


    Two TMPL senior staff members are also board of trustee members of public schools with significant building projects on going.

  • Some respondents commented that sharing information was how their organisation supported others.

    Forwarding "Urban Leader" to fellow professionals.


    Directors of Facilities Management at NZ Universities all share many experiences, including [urban design] matters.


    Providing information including previous work; book/article references.


    We work as part of a network of other consultants and therefore exchange ideas - our role is in managing environmental disciplines so we try to give voice and space to the teams and disciplines that contribute to urban design solutions.


    Also make our design guidelines free to everyone via the web, and support council's by providing hard copies to them on request.


    By providing opportunities to share information from other councils of similar size and scale.


    We routinely share with our strategic alliance partners and clients relevant urban design material that we find on the internet.

  • For others, presenting at conferences or workshops was an example of how their organisation supported others.

    A presentation to the Towns and Cities NZ Seminar in Opotiki, August 2009.


    Arranging urban workshops with wider audiences and resulting networking.


    Undertook presentations to other Councils to promote signing up to Urban Design Protocol.


    We frequently give seminars to Councils for little or no payment - we do them to support debate and awareness of best practice urban design.


    Presentations on work to regional, transport, business, community and academic organisations...


    I also gave presentations to promote urban design the most recent was to the Young Planner's Group.


    Staff giving seminars to NZIS in regard to urban design throughout the country.

  • Developing design guides was also mentioned by some respondents as a method of supporting others.

    Helped NZTA set up their local urban design guidance documents for new roads and related developments.


    have recently completed the [council]'s Good Solutions Guide for Subdividing Large Rural Style Lots.

  • Some respondents also commented that providing education, training, and presentations was an example of how their organisation supported others.

    Lectures tutoring at university.


    Delivered courses specifically tailored to interdisciplinary participants.


    Educating graduates with awareness and commitment to urban design. Community based teaching projects using urban design principles.

Key recommendations

In regards to networking and sharing information, we recommend the Ministry:

  • Continues to provide Urban Design Protocol events, and consider increasing the number events provided in regional locations
  • Continues to further develop the urban design tools and resources (viz. Urban Design Tool Kit, Urban Leader newsletter, Urban Design Case Studies, the Action Pack for action plans, the Review of Urban Design Case Law)
  • Considers optimising the Urban Leader (E-newsletter) as tool for fostering greater levels of communication with signatories
  • Promotes the value organisations receive through exchanging urban design related information and research, and the value received through networking with other organisations
  • Develops a strategy in conjunction with education providers to address urban design capacity issues, and consider seeking input from the wider industry.