Albany as a future node : improving social wellbeing in a car-centric environment
View fulltext online
Citation:Patel, P. (2018). Albany as a future Node: Improving social wellbeing in a car-centric environment. Explanatory document. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture Professional, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4529
RESEARCH QUESTION: What would Albany’s Centre look like if an urban design paradigm promoting wellbeing and reducing social isolation was employed for future development? It is evident that Auckland is growing rapidly in terms of urban population density, housing is almost unaffordable for many Auckland citizens and the public transportation is insufficient which is impacting the social wellbeing of people. Now than ever before, the needs of social interaction and human connections is becoming vital for the improved wellbeing of the population, in fact, people are seeking opportunities to experience human interaction in order to face the very machine like living conditions that are almost robotized and inhumane. Traditional neighborhoods were replaced by sprawl by planners, engineers, architects resulting in car- centric cities, social inequity and isolation. Albany is an example of an auto-centre development in Auckland, however if aspects of the traditional neighborhood model were inculcated in a typical Auckland suburb, it can bring a sense of community, promote a pedestrian friendly environment and improve the social wellbeing of its residents. In the Auckland’s 2050 plan, Albany has been confirmed as a node where the focus of each centre will be on broad range of business and employment activities, civic services and residential options.1 This research project will explore ways in which Albany as a future node can create these opportunities that are envisioned in the Auckland Plan while aiming to also improve social interaction and experience human level connections. Urban planning paradigms will be explored for the design of the project and the form based transect planning system will be used in the design of Albany Centre. The design will be developed on two different scales, where the first scale will explore the accessibility, permeability and overall street networking of the Albany centre. The second scale will explore the connection between the building to the streets and creating opportunities for certain social behaviors through the design. This research draws on literature concerning effects of a traditional neighborhood versus a sprawl, understanding the new urbanism ideologies and also looking into how architecture can create opportunities for social interactions from street level to the layout of spaces in a building. Among other references, Leon Krier’s Architecture Choice or Fate, Andres Duany’s Suburban Nation and Ian Bentley’s Responsive environments were analyzed, alongside literature and articles on the composition and issues of Albany.