Pocket neighborhoods ideally consist of 8 to 16 homes, Beacon Pathway programme manager Denise Bijoux says. A common characteristic of the concept is a shared common area, often a garden or outdoor living area.  "You can get to know your neighbours," she says.

HOBANZ Chief Executive Roger Levie says Auckland needs creative planning solutions. "I think it's a great idea, that sort of creative thinking around land development and communities is exactly what Auckland needs," Levie says.

"These models have been used successfully around the world and Auckland needs to be looking at these."

But Levie and a builder/architect long involved with pocket neighbourhood projects are skeptical Auckland's already in effect Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan (PAUP) will be of help. The PAUP is more supportive of intensified apartment and terraced housing, Levie says.

To see a tour of Pocket Neighbourhoods, click here

Read the full North Shore Times story here.