Community Led Design (CLD) Project Background
The land at 254 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby (the Site) was purchased in 2006 by Auckland Council with the intention of developing it into a park. Eventually in 2013 development of the site was signalled by the Waitemata Local Board (WLB) in the Draft Ponsonby Road Masterplan. Due to the significant interest in the development of the site, the WLB de-coupled it from the Ponsonby Road Master Plan and a subsequent site- specific public consultation was undertaken in September – November 2014. Three (3) potential development options were offered and the community overwhelmingly chose Option 3, the ‘Whole of the site open space’, by a massive 77% of the ~690 respondents.
The WLB then passed the Resolution in April 2015 that 254 Ponsonby Road “be developed for full use of the site as an open space”. They further decided “to build on consultation feedback and to work in partnership with the community to develop a solution within the available resources for 254” and to “include an advocacy position to the Governing Body seeking a Cap-ex budget to develop the site consistent with option 3”. They then initiated the community-led design process to achieve this desired outcome.
The WLB then brought together a representative community group to form the Facilitation Group who would embark on the CLD work to; undertake community consultation to develop a design concept & construction budget that delivers the community’s aspirations for the whole of the site open space at 254 Ponsonby Road. Once completed this will be presented to the WLB for inclusion in their Annual, and the Council’s 10 Year, funding Plans.
In March 2016 the Facilitation Group made up of volunteers was formed and, with a small budget from the WLB, began the CLD work. The process has been based on an ongoing conversation with the Community to discover their needs and aspirations for 254 Ponsonby Road. It has operated as a ‘bottom up’ approach rather than the usual Council ‘top down’ method. To this end, several community engagements have been undertaken to compile the information in this brief.
The first parcel of information for the design brief was contained within the submissions made to the WLB in their 2014 site-specific consultation.
The second parcel of information came from the first community consultation designed and promoted by the CLD Facilitation group in June 2016.
This consisted of an online survey that asked for insights related to the kind of experiences the community wanted/needed from the space. It was advertised via social media, letterbox flyers, and press releases. This consultation resulted in some 190 responses.
The final parcels of information came from consultations that followed on from the design ideas of the Auckland University School of Architecture students work. A physical exhibition of their work with an accompanying questionnaire was held at ‘Boy and Bird’ restaurant. This was supported by an online survey option for those who could not attend the event. Combined, these received over 210 individual responses.
(Interestingly, by way of comparison, the recent Auckland Transport mail-out survey regarding resident parking in the Ponsonby area received only 290 responses, so we consider the response numbers to be indicative of a substantial community engagement in the CLD process).
The themes coming through from all of the surveys have remained consistent.
– The WLB information told us the main requirements are somewhere to sit and relax in a green space. Also important are markets, events, a play-space and Art.

– The first CLD survey again told us the most important requirement is somewhere to sit and relax. Additionally, people want a place to socialise and to enjoy events and activities in that is a safe, calm and peaceful, inclusive green-space.
– The CLD exhibition surveys told us a green open space that provides shelter and feels inclusive and safe is where the community wants to rest and relax with flexibility for other activities and events.
Happily, all of the feedback has shown clear and consistent visions and here is the result.
The Final Concept Design Brief

The community has told us they want a whole of the site park that provides:

The community has told us they want a whole of the site park that provides:
– A green and open space that is inclusive for a range of ages and abilities. – Somewhere that is relaxing and restful with plenty of seating.
– Flexibility to accommodate a variety of events and a market.
– Shelter from the weather.
– Simplicity, peace and calm.
Other requirements are to provide:
– Connectivity to adjoining streets.
– Different areas for socialising, playing and resting. – Amenities e.g. toilets.
– Recognition of Iwi and heritage considerations.


If you are of a mind to – put on your clever thinking hat and let your imagination run wild! The whole of the site open space that will be 254 Ponsonby Park is being designed by and for our Community. We’d love to hear from you about your ideas. To find out more have a look at the long version254-cld-final-concept-brief or contact us at;

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