The Rural Thing


When the requirement to preserve productive capacity in rural areas is being dumped in our District Plans in favour of ad hoc suburbanisation, you know there’s something mighty wrong going on back at City Hall.

In the early 2000’s, after a decade of intense research, the IGU announced that there was no such thing as a ‘sustainable agricultural system’ that was not based 100% on a ‘sustainable rural settlement’. For over a decade now and through a number of real projects, Common Ground has been working hard to develop a range of planning and design tools to create just that environment.

We know how to assess the adaptive capacity of the landscape, the capacity to absorb change and the capacity to absorb development. We know how to structure communities physically and how to make them work through the development of local economies. Then we cloak all of that with enough design to sink a factory farm.

Desirable. Environmentally sustainable. Economically sustainable.

Portfolio examples
Project list
  • Rippon Vineyard
  • Te Kauri Estate
  • Lake Papaitonga
  • Ahuareka
  • Margaret River
  • Homestead Bay
  • Te Horo Beach
  • Mapara Valley
  • Ngarara Farm
  • Rangitahi Peninsula
  • Tuahiwi
  • Waimauku Estate
Client list
  • Mills Family
  • Tye
  • MC2
  • Ahuareka Trustees
  • Shire of Margaret River
  • Jardine Family
  • Far Fetched Dunes
  • Taupo District Council
  • Maypole Environmental Ltd
  • Raglan Land Co
  • Waimakariri District Council
  • Cornerstone
  • Landscape analysis
  • Capacity studies
  • Land-use strategies
  • Design and development patterning
  • Urban design and built-form modelling
  • Feasibility modelling
  • Planning strategy
  • Infrastructure strategy
  • Consultation
  • Structure Plan and land-use consents
  • Landscape / productivity plans