While not a revolutionary concept, the medium density building typology is firmly front and centre stage and the buzzing industry and media discourse extolling its many virtues is testament to that fact. A far cry from the obsolescent criticisms of this type of living - usually grounded in concerns about how homogenisation might compromise city heritage or neighbourhood character - today’s rhetoric is full of praise, acknowledging its various benefits. Moreover, the materlisation of the concept continues to silence, and in many cases, convert the naysayers.
Why? Because the benefits are tangible - from economising the use of resources - land, energy, materials - to the cultivation of stronger and more social communities who enjoy shared recreational assets. Best of all, it offers living that does not discriminate, providing suitable homes for single people, families, extended families and retirees.
With an aging global population and urban sprawl, medium density living provides an attractive solution. Once upon a time, the misguided Kiwi Dream resulted in residential investments with house and land parcel sizes that were not only superfluous to requirement, but that also disregarded the reality of finite and vulnerable resources. Medium density housing is now a respected solution.
Such is its status and intrinsic value within the New Zealand and international markets, the Medium Density Housing Summit at the Millenium Hotel in Auckland on 11 and 12 April 2018, is dedicated to exploring the ins and outs of its sustainability centric principles and its contribution towards more egalitarian, interactive and affordable Kiwi living.
Examples abroad speak to the benefits: in Australia, Nightingale Housing developments are helping residents onto the housing ladder, enabling them to purchase well-built, well-sized homes that would otherwise be beyond their reach. On home soil, the likes of Vinegar Lane in Ponsonby provide an apt example of how Auckland can provide for medium density housing.
Advocates of medium density living hail from design, planning, architectural, bureaucratic and grassroot backgrounds - to name but a few. Many of these advocates will play an important role at this year’s summit, which seeks to explore new and attainable concepts for New Zealand urban life within the context of medium density housing.
Over the coming weeks we will introduce a number of the summit speakers here on Defign Blog, so watch this space.
ADNZ Medium Density Housing Summit: 11 -12 April 2018, Auckland. http://mdhs.co.nz/