In response to a recent posting here on Eye of the Fish, and possibly in response to my slightly provocative comment that ….
“It is increasingly difficult to write about design in a city which pays only lip service to it,”
I’m pleasantly surprised that Mayor Kerry Prendergast has taken the time to add a comment to the posting. In case people have missed it, and because it is, after all, from the Mayor, I think it deserves a little more prominence and so, here it is:
Hi, Mayor Kerry here. The city needs a Mayor who stands up for good design in the city. I see myself as such a person and would hope that others do too.
Quality in design is a collective effort. Your Council puts a lot of effort into our public buildings and streetscape in the hope that this will inspire private owners to build better buildings. Unfortunately economic issues often dictate cheaper outcomes – which we cannot control! If you have new and bright ideas about how to get the better designs I’d love to hear them.
There is much more info for you below if you want detail:
A few instances where Council, under my leadership, is committed and has delivered good design outcomes;
– Signatory to the Urban Design Protocol
– Building on Council’s current Public Domain Policy and finalising Public Space Domain Manual
– LTCCP budgets committed to street upgrade and greening the city
– Strategic design leadership through the Wellington 2040 City Central Framework and W2040 Strategy work
– promoting urban design and heritage outcomes for the city across a range of projects in association with other partnerships and committed people to quality places (e.g. Midland Park; Cobblestone Park, Waitangi Park)
– using design competitions to stimulate creativity and innovation through design (e.g. outer-T waterfront; Cobblestone Park, Waitangi Park)
– In March 2006, the Council completed a two-year study into the effectiveness of the District Plan’s built environment rules. The study found that Wellington’s District Plan has been successful in promoting a contained city and preventing urban sprawl. The Central Area Design Guide provides a focus on the design and appearance of new buildings (rather than having rigid bulk and location requirements. Building proposals are assessed the relevant Central Area Design Guide.
Council can not do it alone and good urban design needs to work on all levels to create social, cultural, environmental and economic value. Therefore, Council is committed to ensuring that Wellington is well designed and this should be priority for all of us who are maintaining and shaping the built environment.