Sustainability, proximity to public transport links and intelligent use of space combine to make Talbot Park a model of social housing. Chosen as a Housing New Zealand community renewal project Talbot Park successfully demonstrates the application of quality urban design principles, sustainable building practices, community partnerships and innovative architectural design in medium density housing.
The project involved major refurbishment of existing dwellings, and the construction of new dwellings. Public transport links which have often been overlooked in the creation of state housing developments were an integral part in the planning of Talbot Park. The collection and recycling roof water, rain gardens and solar water heating were amongst the Environmentally Sustainable Design (EDS) features incorporated in the project.
The public spaces and street network of the block were also radically changed to address the concern of the community for their safety. The streets were narrowed to slow traffic and discourage through-traffic. Design provided a panoptic view, one that not only lets residents see what is going on – “eyes on the park” – but also ensures anyone visiting the park knows that they can be seen.