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dc.contributor.advisorFreeman, Claire
dc.contributor.authorSemmens, Jaimee Maree
dc.identifier.citationSemmens, J. M. (2012). Planning for New Zealand towns: The value of Cittaslow as an alternative approach to sustainable development (Thesis, Master of Planning). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractCittaslow is an Italian inspired global network of towns that collectively resist globalisation and mainstream corporate centered development. Councils and communities in these towns cooperatively adopt an alternative approach to sustainable development based on each town‟s local, unique and historic resources. This research investigates the implementation of the Cittaslow network into the New Zealand planning framework. It found that Cittaslow policies are best applied to the community-driven annual and long term plans under the Local Government Act (2002), and through other non-statutory economic development initiatives. The Resource Management Act (1991) is also critiqued as a "sustainable management‟ system that essentially liberates western style mainstream and corporate centered economic growth initiatives, whilst hindering the effective implementation of the three Es of sustainable development; environment, economy and equity, which are central to Cittaslow ideals. This study investigated the value of Cittaslow to New Zealand towns through the use of three case study towns; Matakana, Raglan and Morrinsville. Current planning issues in these towns were identified; primarily the district plan issues, which were somewhat generic environmental management issues, a possible consequence of the restrictive, market-driven planning framework. Community concerns in community plans were also identified, and found to be generally more localised social and economic issues. It is established that global culture and mass consumerism are inherent issues impacting on New Zealand towns, yet they are not explicitly recognised in planning documents. A comparison of Cittaslow policies to current district plan policies, community plan priorities/strategies and community initiatives led this study to discover that all three towns were deficient in the Cittaslow policy categories for hospitality and liveability, and autochthonous production. In this sense, Cittaslow would be valuable as councils and communities would be held accountable to comply with the remaining Cittaslow criteria. Cittaslow could serve as a motivator to implement policies and initiatives that reflect sustainable development ideals, based on more inclusive, proactive, grassroots and equitable planning. Semi-structured interviews with planners and key community members showed that although Cittaslow was valued by some key informants, on the whole they were reluctant to support or pursue Cittaslow initiatives due to perceptions of it as a superfluous "brand‟ and an unnecessary and imposing regulatory approach, resulting in a lack of community support. The Cittaslow concept was deemed useful in its ability to assist towns in achieving sustainable development internationally, yet in the New Zealand context the practical realities of Cittaslow were thought to outweigh the benefits it could produce. Such a conclusion could be attributed to a limited societal awareness of the impacts of globalisation and a lack of understanding the urgent need to proactively address global issues.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectSustainable development
dc.subjectTown development
dc.subjectLocal economic development
dc.subjectCommunity initiative
dc.titlePlanning for New Zealand towns: The value of Cittaslow as an alternative approach to sustainable development
dc.language.rfc3066en of Planning of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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