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How state highways can affect people and places

The state highway network can support thriving communities when well integrated with the adjoining land uses and surrounding ecology. However the activities involved in planning, designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the state highway network can have negative impacts on communities, the natural environment, human health, cultural and historic heritage, and the built and rural landscapes in which we all live. State highway activities affect people, their communities and the spaces they live, work and play in a number of ways including:

  • determining how easily or by what mode people move around their community to get to places they want to go
  • altering the look and feel (amenity) of landscapes and urban spaces 
  • enhancing or reducing access to and enjoyment of cultural and historic heritage
  • creating noise, vibrations and emissions to air, which along with the other factors above impact our physical and mental wellbeing.

What we’re doing to deliver state highway infrastructure that is sensitive to communities and their built and natural environments

When planning, building, operating and maintaining the state highway network we:

  • engage with communities
  • assess and mitigate social impacts
  • assess and mitigate noise, vibration and air quality impacts
  • assess and minimise effects on cultural and historic heritage
  • apply quality urban design principles
  • carry out landscape assessments and prepare urban or landscape design plans
  • monitor air quality
  • support the provision of walking, cycling and public transport.

Find out more from our website about:

working with communities

planning for quality urban spaces

walking, cycling and public transport

social issues

cultural and historic heritage

Technical information

The technical information that employees, contractors and suppliers of the NZ Transport Agency need to be aware of to complete tasks and projects can be found on the Highways Information Portal(external link). We have a number of pages dedicated to specific environmental subjects so our consultants, contractors and other partners can easily access our standard, tools, and resources.

Urban design and landscaping

Noise and vibration(external link)

Climate and air quality(external link)

Cultural and historic heritage

Community and stakeholder engagement(external link)