Strong local centres and connected neighbourhoods at the heart of the Urban Form and Transport Initiative Final Report

Strong local centres and connected neighbourhoods at the heart of the Urban Form and Transport Initiative Final Report

The Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI) Final Report has been released today, outlining the optimal future land use and transport programme for the western Bay of Plenty.

The Connected Centres programme would see more homes built in existing and new growth areas, improved road networks, increased bus services, and improved walking and cycling connections developed over the next 30-70 years.

The programme caters for approximately 200,000 additional people, 95,000 new homes and two million additional daily transport movements expected in the western Bay of Plenty during that time.

UFTI Project Director Robert Brodnax says the Connected Centres programme business case and delivery plan outlined in the Final Report is the result of 12 months’ worth of robust research, analysis and evaluation undertaken by the UFTI partners, in consultation with stakeholders.

“We have thoroughly explored possible future scenarios for the sub-region and concluded that the Connected Centres programme offers the best outcome for people to live and move around the sub-region and connect to the upper North Island in the future,” says Mr Brodnax.

“Managing expected growth through this programme presents opportunities for better access to employment, education, and amenities such as green spaces in our communities which would otherwise not exist,” he says.

Mr Brodnax says there are two core concepts critical to the Connected Centres programme. The first is increasing the number of houses in existing urban and new growth areas, to maximise available land and support a well-functioning transport system.

The second is the idea that we should all be able to access local social and economic opportunities within a 15-minute journey time, and sub-regional social and economic opportunities within 30-45 minutes.

“These concepts encourage strong local centres and connected neighbourhoods and will require a transformational change in the way we live, work, learn, play and move in the future,” he says.

The Connected Centres programme looks to create four high frequency public transport routes in the existing North, East, West and Central Corridors which better link people to their place of living, work, and recreational locations.

Urban communities will be further developed around Omokoroa, Matua/Otūmoetai, Arataki, Pāpāmoa, Wairakei, and around wider Te Puke, which will also be connected by safe and accessible walking and cycling facilities.

“The benefits of this are better connected and safer transport options, the creation of more affordable housing, and reduced carbon emissions, as strong cities are built on the movement of people and goods,” says Mr Brodnax.

The Connected Centres programme has been estimated to cost approximately $7 billion, spread out in phases over the next 50 to 100 years.

“Investment details, including funding allocation, will be worked through by the UFTI partners and evolve over time but there is opportunity for central and local government to work together, along with the private sector and tangata whenua partners, to ensure the programme can be delivered,” says Mr Brodnax.

SmartGrowth Chair Bill Wasley says the UFTI project team should be congratulated for producing such a well-researched, thorough, and collaborative piece of work.

Mr Wasley says the next stage for the UFTI Final Report is inclusion in the SmartGrowth partnership’s Joint Spatial Plan, while early implementation activities will be included in Council Long-Term Plans, the Regional Land Transport Plan, and the National Land Transport Programme.

“Incorporating UFTI within the Joint Spatial Plan ensures there is one cohesive strategic document for the western Bay of Plenty that incorporates and reflects the settlement pattern and key projects planned for the sub-region over the next 10 years, and enables us to take a broader and long-term approach to wellbeing,” he says.

“It is important that the public has the opportunity to be involved in this planning, so community engagement and public consultation on the Joint Spatial Plan will be undertaken by SmartGrowth and our partner councils in the first quarter of 2021.”

Mr Wasley says the UFTI programme business case and delivery plan is also being put forward to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Western Bay of Plenty Council, as a guide for future investment decisions in the western Bay of Plenty sub-region.

The UFTI Final Report can be viewed here.

Urban Form and Transport Initiative releases Interim Report

Urban Form and Transport Initiative releases Interim Report

The Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI) Interim Report, presenting four possible concepts for the future of the Western Bay of Plenty, has been released today.

The UFTI project is focused on developing a picture of where infrastructure for growing communities should be built, and when and where major transport investments will be needed, to help ensure good housing is accessible and people and goods can move easily around the sub-region in the future.

The Interim Report is a key milestone for the UFTI project as it works towards the release of its Final Report – and a preferred future plan for the sub-region – in April 2020.

UFTI Project Director, Robert Brodnax, says the Interim Report offers an insight into what is being visualised for how people will live, work, play, learn and move in the sub-region over the next 50-100 years.

“The Interim Report considers a range of transport and land use options for the Western Bay which are needed to accommodate a possible population growth of up to 200,000 people,” says Mr Brodnax.

“Each of the concepts are based on heavily-used transport corridors in the sub-region, utilising road or rail, and a mix of urban form options that have been built from existing SmartGrowth plans for growth.”

Mr Brodnax says releasing the report at this stage provides the opportunity for partners and stakeholders to input and feedback into the four concepts, including delving into the evidence which will help develop them further.

“This is helpful as we explore these possible futures further and improve our understanding of what they might mean for us, what actions we might need to take now, and in the future, and how achievable they are.

“For example, we know based on the possible population growth over the next 50-100 years, that we’ll need up to 100,000 more homes and jobs to be created in the Western Bay and more than two million transport movements of people and goods will be completed per day.

“The UFTI team is looking at how we can manage this growth in a way which enhances our communities, embraces our cultural identities, is sustainable and safe, and maintains what we all enjoy about the sub-region.”

Mr Brodnax says the four concepts in the Interim Report have been narrowed down from nine as the result of a robust assessment process that includes analysis of existing partner plans and strategies, workshops, stakeholder feedback and research reports commissioned by UFTI.

“Central government priorities, freight efficiencies, housing affordability, multi-modal transport, growth of local industries, climate change and spatial planning that involves mana whenua are all key priorities and considerations.

“All of the concepts require further investigation and it is likely that the final preferred option will be a combination of different components of each.”

Mr Brodnax says partnering with central government will be key to the sub-region’s ongoing success, and it was positive to have the Transport Minister Phil Twyford discussing a potential partnership with key leaders from Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and mana whenua when he visited Tauranga in November.

The full Interim Report can be viewed here.

Tauranga City Council’s focus on transport system solutions to supplement UFTI work

Tauranga City Council’s focus on transport system solutions to supplement UFTI work

Image above: One of TSNP’s priorities is to identify a solution for the Turret Road/15th Avenue/Route K corridor.

On Tuesday 17 September 2019 Tauranga City Council (TCC) moved to develop a Transport System Network Plan (TSNP), to understand, design and test solutions to some of the city’s key road network problems.

The TSNP will supplement the work being undertaken by the Urban Form and Transport Initiative (UFTI) and will initially focus on the identification of options to manage transport issues and to improve access to alternative transport modes on key corridors and parts of the network.

Read TCC’s full media statement here.

UFTI Project Team

UFTI Project Team

On Wednesday 17 April it was announced that a project team had been appointed to lead UFTI.

The project team will be led by Robert Brodnax who has been appointed Project Director. Janeane Joyce has been appointed Project Manager, and Ben Peacey has been appointed Technical Specialist.

Click here to read the full media statement.