Assessing neighbourhoods: Our tools and skills

Back to Neighbourhoods

Beacon’s neighbourhood assessment tools assess the resilience, adaptability, community amenity, and sustainability of New Zealand neighbourhoods and provide feedback which can inform decision-making and planning.

We have two tools:

  1. The Observational Tool.  This is a mix of things that can be measured and observation.  It assesses a neighbourhood against what we’ve defined as the important aspects of a neighbourhood.
  2. The Resident Survey Tool.  This tells you what residents think of living in a neighbourhood - it’s real on-the-ground feedback.

The tools can be used separately or together, depending on your needs.


Why choose Beacon’s neighbourhood assessment tools?

  • New Zealand-specific - They are designed for, and tested on, New Zealand neighbourhoods
  • Robust - They were developed in a six year government research programme
  • Independent - They provide an independent third party assessment
  • Flexible - They work for planned developments, existing neighbourhoods and regeneration, and newer densities such as apartments
  • Adaptable - They can be adapted and refined to meet the needs of the neighbourhood in question
  • Quick - They can be applied quickly and relatively inexpensively.


Beacon’s neighbourhood expertise

Alongside the tools, Beacon offers its technical expertise in using the tools, and knowledge and understanding of neighbourhood sustainability.

Our assistance includes:

  • Adapting the tools to the particular needs and features of the neighbourhood.
  • Applying the tools and analysing the results
  • Alternatively, supporting and training staff to effectively use the tools
  • Auditing independent use of the tools to ensure the results are robust
  • Enabling comparison of data in one neighbourhood with other New Zealand neighbourhoods.

Check out our case studies for some examples of where we have applied the neighbourhood tools, and the insights these have brought to varying situations.