Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities

The National Science Challenges are designed to find solutions to some of the large, complex issues that matter most to us. 

Why a Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC) Challenge?

Housing is a fundamental human need. Every person is involved in housing, but we have needs and wants beyond simply a roof over our heads. A home should nurture and protect us. It should be hospitable. It should be dry, warm and insulated to keep us healthy. It should have clean air and sunlight. And it should be part of a community or built environment that also nurtures and protects us.

However, there are significant difficulties in New Zealand’s built environment which the BBHTC Challenge seeks to address. These issues include our housing supply, the quality of our housing, and the vulnerabilities and underperformance of some of our urban environments.  

Challenge Vision

Our vision is: 

Ka ora kainga rua: Built environments that build communities

Challenge Mission

And our mission:

Manaaki tangata: Co-created innovative research that helps transform people’s dwellings into homes and communities that are hospitable, productive and protective.

 

Latest News

Valuing Sunshine

August 2017: The famous Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier once said that people needed space and light just as much as they need bread or a place to sleep. To paraphrase, dwellings that are situated or designed with good exposure to sunlight are generally preferred as places to live and work compared to those with lesser light levels. Now, research organisation Motu Economic and Public Policy Research have managed to put a price on that sunshine.

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Rebuilding great neighbourhoods

August 2017: In the wake of the devastating Christchurch earthquakes, Opus Research has been investigating how to rebuild great neighbourhoods. They developed an online computer-aided survey that incorporated complex scenarios and involved survey participants answering questions that revealed the trade-offs they would make to meet their needs and preferences. This process allowed participants to build a picture of what their life might look like if they lived in the inner city at different stages of the city rebuild.

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Supporting regional settlements

August 2017: The strength and integrity of regional settlements in Aotearoa New Zealand is under scrutiny, with questions about how to reboot struggling regions. There are economic and demographic issues linked to quantitative evidence of declining and ageing populations and challenging economic circumstances.

In response, National Science Challenge: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities has the objective of building a better understanding of the lived experience of regional and small town New Zealand. Its mission is to support local efforts to make these places more attractive to live, visit, work and do business.

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Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua: Māori Research Symposium

4 August 2017: The final agenda for the Kāinga Tahi Kāinga Rua: Māori Research Symposium is now available. Please download the PDF here.

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