Te Rapa – Transit Oriented Development (TOD) part 1

Te Rapa village has the makings of a diverse TOD, encompassing both dwellings and places of employment. Presently there are 16 buses per hour travelling through Te Rapa Rd/Garnett Ave – Vardon Rd cross roads (Buses #21, #C, and #18, which travels through Hobson St) all linking the Hamilton Transport Centre to Rotokauri Station.

The 2013 census counted 822 people living within 400m (an area of 50ha) of  Te Rapa village, giving a population density of 16 people per hectare (1,644 ppkm2)(link to Koordinates, 2013 census). In 2013 this area classified as ‘less urbanised’, with between 500-1,000 dwellings per km2. In the past half-decade a lot of building for older people has taken place in Minogue Drive, which is now very highly urbanised, with over 2,500 dwellings per km2, with plenty of attractive open green space, giving it the potential of having over 10% of the landscape within walking distance of the village centre returned to indigenous habitat cover to protect bio-diversity and to maintain functioning ecosystems.

The key to a successful TOD is diversity: this cross roads in Te Rapa has a mix of land uses within 400m, making it a place that plenty of people travel to for work (Inland Revenue) and shopping. But the hard separation of land uses (zoning) here has led to a dead zone, this can be seen on sign at entrance to Te Rapa Service lane ‘closed no access after hours’. The good news is that there are businesses trying to bring life after hours, but a 24-hour village needs not only businesses; the residents need to be seen and to be able to see what is happening throughout the neighbourhood.

There are three schools within walking distance of Te Rapa Rd/Garnett Ave – Vardon Rd cross roads. A successful TOD needs housing density. If we want children walking to school, the streets need to look safe to the parents of these children, and housing suitable for families needs to be included in this area 400m from the centre. It has proven to be easy to build for older and younger people: providing family housing in this very highly urbanised area should also be an option.

Category: News

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