Long Bay Residential streets

Name of case study

 Long Bay Residential streets


  •  Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
  • Aotearoa New Zealand




Suburb/neighbourhood scale

Area / size

162 ha

NbS employed

  • bioswales/swales
  • pervious surfaces

Type of NbS

Created or constructed living ecosystem







Design group

  • Boffa Miskell
  • Woods
  • WSD
  • Construkt
Long Bay residential development swales. Photo from Auckland Design Manual (2024). 
Long Bay residential development larger catchment. Photo from Construkt Architects (2012) 
Climate change benefits
  •  Biomass cover loss
  • changes in rainfall
  • Increased temperatures
  • Reduced air quality
  • reduced water quality
  • urban heat island effect
Societal / socio-cultural benefits
  • Biodiversity health and conservation
  • climate change adaptation
  • waste management and sanitation
  • water security
Ecological benefits
  • climate regulation
  • disturbance prevention
  • habitat provision
  • purification

Summary of case study

Long Bay is a recent residential development in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. It is close to two large ecosystem habitats: the Long Bay Regional Park and Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve. Green infrastructure has been implemented as part of the design to balance the efficient use of the land while maintaining and enhancing the natural environment.

The outcome of the design in terms of ecosystem services is a ‘treatment train’ where a series of rain gardens and swales are implemented to treat street runoff before flowing to larger-scale treatment environments. All the garden streets in the development include a series of rain gardens and swales which increase pervious areas and help to absorb heavier amounts of rainfall by increasing the green space. This enables adaptation to climate change with the ability of the streets to act as absorption devices as rainfall events intensify. The bioswales also mitigate the changes in climate through the ability to sequester carbon and absorb water. 

Not only does this case study have environmental benefits, there is also the added aesthetic value to the development which local people benefit from (Coutts, C & Hahn, Micah, 2015).

Planting through the swales has been thought out to provide habitat where practical. The swales create habitat for species like native birds, lizards, and fish. This includes the restoration of inanga spawning habitat near the lower catchment. The protection of native species in the area has connections to Indigenous knowledge as some species in the area are important mahinga kai (food) resources for Māori (NIWA).

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Further resources:

<< Bioswales/ swales