Assessing Environmental Sustainability outcomes at neighbourhood scale. A Post-Occupancy Evaluation of Hobsonville Point, Auckland

Authors: Paola Boarin, Natalie Allen, Errol Haarhoff



This Working Paper has been produced as part of the National Science Challenge 11 – Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Ko ngā wā kāinga hei whakamahorahora (NSC11). This research sits within the Strategic Research Area (SRA) Shaping Places: Future Neighbourhoods. This research is aligned to other studies as part of NSC11, looking at the post occupancy evaluation of Hobsonville Point as a (mixed density mixed typology) master-planned residential development, in Northwest Auckland – New Zealand.

This research is specifically focussed on assessing the environmental sustainability of neighbourhoods; it further develops and tests a framework for the Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) of neighbourhoods according to how well they consider the issues and opportunities of environmental sustainability in their planning and delivery.

Following a literature review (published in Working Paper 18-01), this research began with an analysis and synthesis of three international assessment tools and one New Zealand framework to develop a guiding matrix to undertake POEs, with a test on Hobsonville Point in Auckland. This matrix became the underpinning methodology guiding this research and categorised environmental performance measures according to energy use, water management and conservation, ecology and habitat, and waste management and pollution control responses and measures. It functions across the neighbourhood and block scales and asks questions about how well a neighbourhood has performed at both these critical scales. In this way, this research represents the advancement towards the definition of an overarching framework for the Post Occupancy Evaluation of New Zealand neighbourhoods.
The conclusions drawn through this work show that a POE needs to function at both a block and a neighbourhood scale and the achievement of many of the criteria is influenced by city-wide strategic planning for mobility, energy, waste and water production and consumption. For these reasons, it is important that clear goals are set up involving all relevant stakeholders, as well as a detailed set of assessment criteria are defined for enabling outcomes to be measured against desirable performance levels on a short, medium and long term.