Our Neighbourhoods research

Back to Neighbourhoods

Neighbourhood sustainability has always been a focus of Beacon’s core research and activities.   Although Beacon’s primary focus is on the performance and sustainability of homes, it is also concerned with neighbourhoods, recognising that the sustainability depends also on the buildings, infrastructure and spaces (green, open, connecting and dividing) surrounding them.

The Christchurch earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 have shown the importance of neighbourhood level resilience and adaptive capacity in the recovery phases.  Some communities demonstrated an impressive display of resilience to the extensive adverse factors with substantial numbers of residents taking action to help their friends, family and community as part of the recovery.

Neighbourhoods formed a major strand of the six year research programme undertaken for the Foundation of Research Science and Technology (FRST).

With the end of the FRST research programme, Beacon has become an Incorporated Society, yet its focus remains on transforming New Zealand’s homes and neighbourhoods to be high performing, adaptable, resilient and affordable. 


The research programme

The Neighbourhoods team reviewed national and international research to establish what tools existed and what the key elements of a successful neighbourhood were.

Based on this, they developed a Neighbourhood Sustainability Framework, and developed practical tools to guide the design, building, retrofitting and management of neighbourhoods.  The tools took into account international theory and experience but were made relevant and applicable to the New Zealand context.

The tools were tested on New Zealand neighbourhoods and further refined. They were also tested on both existing, planned and new developments.

A summary of the Neighbourhoods research programme is below.  Please see the Reports and Presentations page for the original research reports.

  • 01-Mar-2012 (Report NH2012/1)

    Beacon's Neighbourhood Research and Tools: A Summary (PDF 239KB)

    Andrea Blackmore

    This report summarises the research journey that underlies the development of the Neighbourhood Sustainability Framework and its assessment tools.

Blake St, Ponsonby, Auckland

Photo: Deborah Dewhirst