A vision of downtown Tauranga, similar to the one he’d spent his senior year of college losing sleep over, was the last thing Jordan Hansen expected to find when he went shoe shopping earlier this this month.
Passing a Tauranga City Council stall at the Tauranga Crossing Shopping Centre, the budding architect did a double take when he walked past the designs on display.
“When I saw these drawings, I was drawn to them because they contained aspects of my thesis,” he says.
“The social artery that connects the waterfront to the library, social and cultural spaces. I saw a lot of similarities between my thesis design and the council’s proposed design for the town centre. »
Growing up in Tauranga, Jordan has always been fascinated by buildings, so it came as no surprise to those who knew him when he moved to Auckland in 2016 to complete a Masters in Architecture at the Unitec Institute of Technology.
In his final year of living on two minutes of noodles and instant coffee, he chose a thesis topic close to his heart.
“Living in Auckland made me realize what Tauranga city center lacked in terms of community, social and cultural spaces,” he says.
“I love Tauranga, but I could see how it was struggling with the increasing difficulties of becoming a city without enough investment to create a central city identity.”
Completed in 2020, Jordan’s final design and 140-page dissertation doorstop bears many similarities to Tauranga’s updated civic precinct master plan: Te Manawataki o Te Papa – Te Papa’s Heartbeat – which was developed by Willis Bond together with the Council and mana whenua, and adopted by the Commission at the end of last year.
At its heart is a library and community center designed to revitalize downtown and bring the community together.
“I was really excited when I saw the council’s plans. They are so much bigger than what I had done, and they look amazing, but the central idea is the same, which is to develop a space that encourages people and private investment to come back to the city” , says Jordan.
Top of his class with an A with Second Class Honours, Jordan is now back in Tauranga as a graduate architect for local firm Architectural Design Group (ADG).
He couldn’t be more excited to see the Council offer to invest more in the future of his hometown.
“I had to move to Auckland because at the time I couldn’t study architecture here, but I’ve always wanted to come back to Tauranga and can’t wait to see it all begin.”
The Tauranga Crossing Shopping Center is one of many places Tauranga City Council Commissioners have visited over the past few weeks to discuss with the community the council’s plans for the town center and other proposed changes to the plan at long-term 2021-31, as well as the 2022/23 Annual plan.
This includes finding new ways to fund the infrastructure needed for growth and making tariffs fairer for everyone.
Commission President Anne Tolley said that in addition to attending markets and organized events, commissioners held two online sessions to make it as easy as possible for everyone to participate in the discussion.
“We’ve had incredible feedback for and against our proposals and really solid conversations, that’s what it’s all about.
“It’s been a fantastic few weeks and meeting Jordan and reading his thesis, which is really impressive, was the icing on the cake for me.
“Tauranga is full of talented and creative people and it’s a huge privilege to be able to work alongside the community to help this great city realize its true potential.”
To find out more and share your feedback, go to www.tauranga.govt.nz/itstime
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