Constructing Auckland: 2013 building outlines update in the urban core and its periphery

Nancy E Golubiewski , Grant Lawrence, Craig Fredrickson
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit, RIMU
Publication date:

The Buildings data set currently in use at Auckland Council is essentially a decade old. The original building outlines (or footprints) date to 2008. A second 2010 Buildings data set was produced, which mostly appended missing North Shore City data without further update or correction.

This project undertook the first comprehensive update of the building outlines for the urban core and its periphery, expanding by almost 50% the area of mapped footprints. Rather than manual digitisation of aerial photography used in the previous efforts, it did so via a semiautomatic method using council’s 2013 LiDAR data. In total, 596,076 building structures were mapped in Auckland’s urban core and periphery (corresponding to the extent of the 2013 LiDAR capture), including 14,611 new buildings (since 2010). This new construction totalled 3.4 million square metres (3.4km2 or 344ha), a 3.3% gross increase from 2010. (The net effect for the entire area is unknown, however, since this is the first mapping of the urban periphery.) In addition, a total of 5607 existing buildings not previously recorded were detected and mapped within the urban core.

The creation of the 2013 Building outlines data set also facilitated the first change detection analysis of Auckland’s building dynamics. Between 2010 and 2013, new construction in the previously mapped urban core covered a total of 3.3 million square metres (3.3km2 or 334ha), a net increase of 2.2 million square metres (2.2km2 or 217ha), or a 2.2% increase in footprint area. The net increase in building numbers was 1774. These figures do not directly translate to specific dynamics such as new dwelling construction. More specific follow-on studies of building topology and land use will explore these dynamics. Among the recommendations from this study are to recognise building outlines as a dynamic component of the urban matrix that needs regular updating. Many modern and emerging data and analytical methods are available to facilitate the construction of a buildings trajectory for Auckland.

Auckland Council technical report TR2019/006

Last updated: 2019-05-13


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