Is our urban development important?

There is concern amongst the urban design sector regarding the lack of discussion focused on the state of our urban settlements. A sector driven conference, Urbanism New Zealand will focus on the issues of urban design and development from a collective viewpoint.

Engaging the cohort of urban designers, architects, planners, engineers, surveyors and landscape architects together with the property development and construction sector in addition to central and local government decision makers, the aim is to identify the key areas to bring about an improved change in our cities and towns.

“The outcome of the conference is to send a message to central government about the importance of urbanism,” said Gerald Blunt, Design Manager Build Wellington, Wellington City Council.

“This is something that has not been sufficiently debated by the sector together.”

Topics for discussion focus on the elements of living, moving, community, identity and the delivery of the urban environment in the context of urban design and planning.

“Urban concerns across New Zealand are broad but the issue of providing affordable housing in our expanding towns and cities is a major focus,” states Alistair Ray, Head of Urban Design at Jasmax.

“In this context our discussion points at the conference will include the impact of planning policy and the value of good quality design in the development and maintenance of healthy and thriving communities.”

To be held in Wellington in May 2018, feature speakers include Ludo Campbell-Reid – Urban Design Champion for Auckland, Justin Lester – Mayor, Wellington City, James Lunday – Urban Designer, Regenerate Christchurch, Christina van Bohemen – President, NZIA, Connal Townsend – Chief Executive, NZ Property Council, Adrienne Young-Cooper – Board Chairman, Housing NZ, Nigel McKenna – Development Director, DASL and urban advocate Patrick Reynolds.

The conference is calling for the submission of abstracts from people who are interested in presenting. Information on the Call for Papers can be found on the conference website


Call for Papers Open

There is a conversation that has been missing in New Zealand – discussion which inform our urban settlements is not being collectively debated.

The 2018 Urbanism New Zealand Conference is an outcome driven event focusing on shaping New Zealand’s cities and places by identifying the key issues. To join the discussion that forms the basis of an issues paper to be presented to our national decision makers, submit your abstract for consideration by the conference advisory committee.

Issues to be discussed include questions around the economic drivers that shape cities and towns; how are they managed through New Zealand’s central government and local authorities; influence of planning regimes; resilience within community; role of urban design; residential supply and demand; effect of city leadership philosophy as well as policy; urban ecology; identity and heritage; development and delivery; how are infrastructure systems such as transport and utilities shaping settlement patterns; and is the quality of building, places and architecture important.

Feature speakers include Urban Design Champion for AucklandLudo Campbell-Reid; Mayor of Wellington CityJustin Lester; NZIA President – Christina van Bohemen; Chief Executive Property Council NZ – Connal Townsend; Urban Designer Regenerate Christchurch – James Lunday; and Urban Advocate – Patrick Reynolds.