Biodiverse Residential Development: A Review of New Zealand Policies and Strategies for Urban Biodiversity

Varshney, K
MacKinnon, M
Zari, MP
Shanahan, D
Woolley, C
Freeman, C
Heezik, YV
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Journal Article
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Elsevier BV

Urban residential development is expanding globally to accommodate increasing housing demand, greatly impacting biodiversity and human wellbeing. Enhanced sustainability of these developments requires an integrated approach to conserving, supporting, and restoring biodiversity through the built environment and understanding the implications of residential development policies, regulations, and guidelines. This paper details a review of current New Zealand policies, strategies, planning documents, and design guidelines that inform urban design and planning at national, regional, and local levels. Three major gaps in biodiversity considerations and opportunities for improvement in residential developments were identified. Firstly, current policies and strategies tend to protect significant indigenous habitats, but the interventions required to improve or retain biodiversity in residential developments are not explicitly considered. Secondly, there is a need for design guidelines with explicit biodiversity outcomes. Thirdly, existing planning documents and guidelines do not account for biodiversity monitoring and management and could be amended to include biodiversity-related outcomes. We conclude that current New Zealand policies and strategies related to residential developments are inadequate and fail to recognise or encourage the enhancement of urban biodiversity in any meaningful way. Holistic and strategic ecosystem-based approaches are required to protect and enhance urban biodiversity and human wellbeing through the built environment to ensure that biodiversity continues to thrive in New Zealand cities and enrich the lives of urban residents.

4406 Human Geography , 44 Human Society , 15 Life on Land , 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities , 0502 Environmental Science and Management , 0705 Forestry Sciences , Forestry , 3007 Forestry sciences , 4104 Environmental management , 4406 Human geography
Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, ISSN: 1618-8667 (Print); 1610-8167 (Online), Elsevier BV, 94, 128276-128276. doi: 10.1016/j.ufug.2024.128276
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© 2024 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license (