Neighbourhood case study: Blake St, Ponsonby

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  • Auckland City
  • higher density, mixed use, higher cost urban brownfield
  • rated a high sustainability neighbourhood by both Observational Tool and Resident Self-Report Tool

Key positives

Key negatives

  • Good walking environment
  • Good range of services available locally
  • Good bus service available
  • Very dense development
  • High level of resident satisfaction with privacy, dwelling condition, their dwellings’ outdoor environment and parking amenities
  • Most residents report feeling safe walking at night
  • Lack of affordable housing
  • High run off
  • Reserves in walking distance are limited
  • Very high proportion of residents access services outside the neighbourhood by car


Housing

The area studied is a relatively new (less than 10 years old) development consisting a mixture of relatively upmarket terrace houses and small apartments on a former light industrial site that is very urban in nature. There are several old villas and older commercial buildings within the study area and the area is in an older inner city location.

The housing stock is of extremely high quality and the risk of dilapidation was assessed as being low. The provision of a high number of small apartments (mainly one bedroom) appears to fill a gap in the local housing stock, which is largely dominated by old villas and most buildings had a good relationship to the road, providing passive surveillance.


Walking and public transport

The neighbourhood is very walkable, with a relatively pleasant streetscape. Bus services are easily accessible and frequent.


Amenities and services

The development is close to a wide variety of services, shops and entertainment on Jervois and Ponsonby Roads and the neighbourhood’s character and vibrancy largely feeds off these neighbouring facilities, rather than off facilities within the neighbourhood. The site borders Ponsonby Intermediate School and a primary school is nearby.

The old light industrial units on the northern side of the neighbourhood provide an opportunity for small-scale industries to locate in the area and added a certain charm. Several homes are used for home occupations and some older villas have been converted to commercial premises. Both are an indication of housing stock flexibility.


Public space

It contains no public space and there are very few neighbourhood reserves in walking distance.


Environment

The natural environment has been heavily modified many years ago and there would have been no significant ecological features or habitats present at the time of development of the new townhouses and apartments. The area has a high percentage of impermeable surfaces and some contamination is present due to its previous use.


Blake St, Ponsonby, Auckland

Photo: Deborah Dewhirst