Sustainable Urbanism and Cohousing in Aotearoa New Zealand
This research investigates whether the principles and practices of cohousing can be successful in Aotearoa New Zealand, and if the model provides a sustainable alternative to standard housing. Previous research recognises that there are many social, environmental and economic issues associated with the current housing stock in Aotearoa New Zealand. Examples include how residents interact and issues of connectedness, the quality of the buildings and affordability for all demographics. Overseas, the adoption of cohousing has increased as a form of urban housing that addresses these challenges. This study endeavours to understand how cohousing functions in Aotearoa New Zealand, and if there are challenges present in current planning practices that limit the materialisation of communities. The purpose of this research is to discover aspects of sustainable living within existing and developing cohousing examples and to explore how the existing planning system operates to enable or constrain their development. Two case studies have been selected for this study. The first is Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood (referred to as Earthsong) in Ranui, Auckland. This cohousing development was established in the early 2000s and therefore provides the opportunity to understand the lived experience of residents. While the second case study is the High Street Cohousing Project in Dunedin, which is still awaiting construction. This study will provide value in understanding the choices of stakeholders and also provide a contrast to Auckland. The findings suggest residents at the Earthsong Eco-Neighbourhood feel cohousing provides them with a lifestyle which is environmentally-friendly and enables them to interact with their neighbours with ease. The residents of the High Street Cohousing Project were able to express the challenges they have overcome and the significant design choices that contribute to the success of cohousing communities. Kathryn McCamant and Charles Durrett developed the cohousing model, after they had positive experiences in Denmark, this study has found that cohousing can be adapted to a range of contexts and Aotearoa New Zealand is no exception.
Advisor: Bond, Sophie
Degree Name: Master of Planning
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: New Zealand; Cohousing; Alternative; Housing; Sustainable; Sustainability; Eco-houses; Communities; Neighbourhoods
Research Type: Thesis