The plan which will re-shape Auckland over the next 30 years went out for public consultation on Friday, with major challenges ahead.
Auckland Council will have to convince communities and the Government it has the right mix of ideas to accommodate an extra one million residents.
The Unitary Plan is the rulebook to manage competing pressures and interests as Auckland grows.
It provides for new housing land on the city fringes and higher density living in the urban area, where up to 70% of growth is envisaged.
Auckland Council believes it will have greater control over urban design and allow more flexible rules enabling more plentiful and affordable housing.
At the launch, mayor Len Brown urged the Government to change its intention of delaying the Unitary Plan for up to four years, during an appeal period.
The council hopes instead to persuade the Government to let the plan come into effect up to two years sooner than proposed changes to legislation would allow.
The Government has warned it might need to accelerate the opening up of land on the city's fringes for new housing but Mr Brown says Aucklanders don't want Los- Angeles-style sprawl.
Aucklanders have three months to air their views on the draft plan, which provides for an extended urban limit and higher-density housing.
People can go online and study what new conditions will affect individual properties.