The 3D version (artist impression) of stage two of the draft Avarua Town Plan which also includes a marina for pleasure yachts and small boats. CIIC/22090517
The first-ever town plan for Avarua – the capital of the Cook Islands – has won an International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA) award for its response to the climate crisis.
honour, awarded to Auckland/Wânaka based practise Reset Urban Design, was
announced at Gala Awards Ceremony in South Korea late last week.
is one of two prizes presented to Reset Urban Design, the only New Zealand
practice to win awards at the international event.
Tau Papa o Avarua The Avarua Town Plan, which was praised by judges for its
climate change mitigation and positive contribution to the wider Cook Islands
community, was commissioned by the Cook Islands Investment Corporation (CIIC)
and designed in association with traffic engineers Stantec, and Rarotonga-based
architect Romani Katoa. CIIC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cook Islands
Government. It controls the country’s property and public works.
Urban Design director Garth Falconer says he is pleased to receive an award
that recognises the responsible work the Cook Islands Government is doing to
deal proactively with the climate crisis.
team worked closely with the CIIC to understand business, tourism, landowner
and community concerns and aspirations, as well as the unique site context.
These extensive consultations resulted in the country’s first-ever integration
of agreed objectives across all aspects of the town’s functions being adopted
award recognises that tough calls need to be made to improve resilience to
climate change and that these can be challenging to environmental ideals. One of
a number of initiatives in this project involves infilling part of a degraded
lagoon to help save the capital’s key institutions and town centre from coastal
Urban Design, working with Romani Katoa, received a second IFLA award for the
development of Aitutaki’s first-ever spatial plan: Te Papa Tau o Araura.
says the award recognises the plan’s far-reaching aims to manage the quality of
Aitutaki’s environment and the livelihood of the local people.
Papa Tau o Araura is a comprehensive long-term strategy for Aitutaki’s growth
and development. It describes the kind of place Aitutakians have said they want
and outlines what is needed to achieve this. It sets the strategic direction
that will enable the Island’s communities to work together in a resourceful and
self-sufficient way to protect, manage and develop their environment - both
land and water.
community said that they did not want this plan to be a growth strategy but
rather a qualitative management tool.
stoked to accept these awards for the leading work the Cook Islands Government
is doing. The entire process has been a demonstration of open and transparent
dialogue with communities and of their government’s commitment to a sustainable
future for their environment and their people.”
chairman Mike Henry says he is delighted that the Cook Islands has been
recognised for the Te Tau Papa o Avarua The Avarua Town Plan and the Te Papa
Tau o Araura Aitutaki Island Plan.
to the plans is encouraging sustainable development and the utilisation of
resources in a manner that benefits these communities.
plans were the result of the hard work of many CIIC staff members and
in-country specialists, with the assistance of Reset Urban Design, working
alongside and more importantly owned by our Rarotonga and Aitutaki communities.
“The plans provide a long-term vision and blueprint to work from, which will be adjusted over time as our environment and priorities evolve. It is pleasing that there are many elements in these plans, that we have started implementing, and delivering benefits for Avarua and Aitutaki,” says Henry.