Aaron Koning

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Aaron Koning

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How Geospatial Technology Powered Auckland Council’s Capacity for
Growth Study

Aaron Koning, FME Server Product Manager, Safe Software


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5 Things You Will Learn

    1. How geospatial technology can be applied to create automated, repeatable scenario modeling for capacity for growth studies, including the workflow schematic
    2. How infill can be computerized & presented to stakeholders
    3. How business capacity in 3 dimensions was assessed
    4. How FME was used to build reusable modeling algorithms
    5. How the project was efficiently staged from pilot to full

Target Audience

Government, planners, property developers, simulation, visualisation, policy makers, geospatial professionals, real estate.

Presentation Overview

The Auckland region’s 30 year plan anticipates the need to prepare for housing 1 million more people, substantial growth above their current 1.5 million which is already ⅓ of all New Zealand residents. But proactively understanding where, when, and how growth could occur required a Capacity for Growth Study.

This presentation will describe how Oberdries Consulting and Critchlow innovatively used geospatial technology to automate spatial data algorithms for Auckland Council to measure the vacant, redevelopment, and infill development capacity across residential, business and rural residential land use designations.

The resulting dataset will help them better understand the quantity and location of development capacity as they seek to meet their growth projections, requiring 400,000 new dwellings available by 2041. Because the reusable workflows are self-documenting and highly annotated, they can be submitted as evidence of the modeling logic to the environment court, and senior planning staff can interpret them without programming knowledge. The workflows also allowed flexibility for changing planning provisions while avoiding unintentional algorithm changes by referencing Excel spreadsheets in which non-GIS staff could update zone specific rules (ie. building setbacks). By automating the Capacity for Growth Study with geospatial technology, the project realized more informed decision making for the region’s planners.

The project took a mere 12 months to complete compared to 4 years, and allows for data modelling repeatability, so that all models can be run to completion in 1 to 2 days. Configurable “what if” scenario modelling provides improved information for stakeholders with this data driven, evidence based approach. It also formed the basis of a data framework for additional future research.


Aaron Koning is the FME Server Product Manager at Safe Software, and has been a member of Safe’s Professional Services team since 2007. As manager of the FME Server support team, he oversees technical assistance for FME Server customers, and helps organizations solve data interoperability challenges across the world. Experienced in GIS and enterprise geospatial technologies, Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of Northern British Columbia in Canada.