Understanding the types of urban environments that New Zealanders want to live in and the neighbourhood characteristics that contribute to wellbeing is critical to addressing the overarching research question of the Resilient Urban Futures programme: which potential urban futures will result in the most resilient, liveable, competitive cities?

A stand-alone house on a sizeable section has been the traditional New Zealand dwelling type and it remains the housing aspiration of most New Zealanders. However, the affordability of this type of housing is beyond the reach of many and the sprawling urban form it creates is at odds with the resilient, compact city model advocated in the growth plans of our major cities. Medium density residential developments, located close to public transport and community amenities, offer an alternative urban future.