Urban Futures 2020

Planning & designing sustainable, liveable and inclusive towns and cities for today & tomorrow

Event Details


Registration and coffee
Opening remarks from the Chair
Ben van Bruggen, Manager of Urban Design Strategy of Auckland, Auckland Council
Macro-environmental Forces Impacting Urban Development
Overview – analysing the status quo and looking into how towns and cities are shaping in the near future
  • How liveable are Aotearoa’s towns and cities - infrastructure, environment and societal development?
  • Global Liveability Index 2019: Exploring underlying reasons for international cities outperforming NZ cities - comparison of AU and NZ
  • Deriving strategies and measures from other high-ranked cities to ensure a continuous high-quality liveability concept for Aotearoa’s population
Ben van Bruggen, Manager of Urban Design Strategy of Auckland, Auckland Council
Demographic trends and the impacts on the characteristics of future urban and living spaces
  • Aotearoa’s latest census and demographic trends
  • According to projections, population will reach 5 million shortly – how is the population spread out across Aotearoa?
  • Growth in net migration: Biculturalism and/or multiculturalism? Understanding the interrelationship of growth, culture and urban development
  • Implications for urban growth
Professor Paul Spoonley, Distinguished Professor, Massey University
Morning break
Reviewing the RMA and how it will affect present and future urban resource planning
  • Integration vs. Separation – decreasing the overall complexity of the RMA
  • Understanding the alignment of Acts addressing climate change and natural hazards
  • Improving urban planning processes
Daniel Minhinnick, Partner, Russell McVeagh
National Policy Statement on Urban Development
  • Exploring the statement:
    • A basic overview of what it does
    • How should it be implemented in regional and district plans?
    • Getting the policy right - a word from the courts on interpreting national policy statements
    • How does it apply to resource consents?
  • Good practice - case studies on implementing the NPS to date
  • Overlaps with other government reforms and the potential impacts
Luke Hinchey, Partner – Environment, Planning & Resource Management, Chapman Tripp
Lunch break
Resourceful Designing and Planning
Address from the Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga
  • Driving economic performance and social wellbeing through planning and investment: 30 year infrastructure strategy
  • Collaboration with local and central authorities, together with the infrastructure industry and regulators, for Aotearoa’s greater good
  • What role will the Infrastructure Commission play, helping and supporting quality infrastructure investments?
Dr Alan Bollard, Chair, NZ Infrastructure Commission & Professor of Practice at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington
Integrated infrastructure delivery – how informed infrastructure improves urban outcomes
  • The critical role of resilient infrastructure in urban development
  • Key collaborative lessons that drive stakeholder alignment
  • Responding to challenges, change and disruption
    • Funding
    • Climate change & carbon
    • Digital revolution
  • How to keep people at the centre of infrastructure delivery  
Tim Barry, Infrastructure Interface Manager, Watercare Services Ltd
Urban futures and climate risk
  • Climate risk impacts on urban planning
  • Climate risk reporting requirements coming soon – what will they mean for urban areas?
  • Risk reporting - who is liable and who pays?
Kirk Hope, Chief Executive, BusinessNZ
Afternoon break
Managing a transition to zero carbon for cities in Aotearoa
  • Climate change mitigation and cities: Getting it clear
  • The role and contribution of cities
  • Barriers to and facilitators of change
  • Ensuring coherent and intentional urban policies
Ralph Chapman, Associate Professor & Director - Environmental Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
Integrated spatial planning – freeing up a strong centres-based urban structure
  • The symbiotic relationship between retail, offices, apartments and community facilities
  • Planning tools to encourage intensification and strong centres 
  • Car-parking war – the key killer of strong centres. Who fights, why and how?
  • Free choice, a free market and climate change mitigation
John Mackay, Director, John Mackay Urban Strategy
Panel Discussion: Investigating transport solutions to our growing transport issues

Join our panellists as they discuss and explore the potential possibilities and limitations of solutions to the growing transport issues gridlocking our urban centres.

  • The future of roads in Aotearoa
  • The future impact of e-bikes and e-scooters on the transport system
  • The potential of commuter rail, light rail and other mass transit
  • New options for growing public transport in cities and regions
Matthew Ensor, Business Director - Advisory , Beca
Kathryn King, Urban Mobility Manager, New Zealand Transport Agency
Brian Dewil , Country Head , Ola New Zealand
Geoff Cooper, Chief Economist & Director, PwC
Andrew McGill, Head of Integrated Network Planning, Auckland Transport
Summary remarks from the Chair
Ben van Bruggen, Manager of Urban Design Strategy of Auckland, Auckland Council
Networking drinks
Welcome back from the Chair
Ben van Bruggen, Manager of Urban Design Strategy of Auckland, Auckland Council
Planning for Proactive Social Inclusion
Building diverse, inclusive and resilient communities to increase wellbeing and quality of life
  • Exploring the relationship between migrants, existing residents and cities and understanding the dynamics and complexity of migration growth
  • Methods to create socially inclusive communities and ensuring equal access to resources
  • Applying equity frameworks in regard to planning policies, programs and public spaces
Kate Mackness, Lecturer - Environmental Planning, University of Waikato
Integrating significance in the city

Aotearoa is a nation of urbanites. It is therefore important that we find significance in our cities to create inclusive spaces and support our wellbeing and quality of life.

  • Outlining how cities employ significance to create urban places where people want to live and can connect with
  • Explaining how cities are employing significance to enhance civic projects like infrastructure, economic and governance
  • Detailing the future role of significance in the cities and how we can utilise it to improve our cities
David Batchelor, Planner and Heritage Advisor, Harrison Grierson & PhD (cand.), Victoria University of Wellington
Case Study: Tāmaki Regeneration – urban regeneration as a community-focused wellbeing initiative
  • Understanding what success looks like for regeneration in existing communities 
  • Shaping a 20-year delivery program 
  • Creating diverse and inclusive neighbourhoods in Tāmaki Makaurau
Shelley Katae, GM of Strategy and Performance, Tāmaki Regeneration Company
Morning break
The Future of Housing
Smaller, better and connected: Homes for future Kiwis
  • Who are New Zealanders today, where and how do they live?
  • What change is happening, and why?
  • How can we improve our new and existing homes?
  • How do we ensure physical, transport, and social connections?
  • How can we deliver homes that will be loved for decades to come?
John Polkinghorne, Associate Director, RCG Ltd
Kāinga Ora – transforming Aotearoa’s homes and neighbourhoods
  • Looking into Kāinga Ora’s role in providing homes and shaping urban development
  • How has Kāinga Ora progressed so far?
  • Kāinga Ora’s approach to sustainable urban development
Katja Lietz, Acting Deputy Chief Executive Urban Development Planning, Kāinga Ora
From the front line: Reflection from a property developer
  • How is the private sector responding to the changing market?
  • The successful developments and the changes from traditional?
  • How can we help developers to shape the city?
Kester Ko, Director, Rockhopper
Lunch break
Supporting Future Sustainable Development
Designing biodiverse, public, green and open spaces for everyone
  • An overview of the nationwide programme to date – People, Cities & Nature
  • Use of urban green spaces and characteristics of people and places that promote use
  • Interrelationships between quality of life, nature connection, wellbeing and urban green space use
  • Engaging urban residents in biodiversity restoration/management initiatives

Co-authored and presented by:
Professor Yolanda van HeezikProfessorUniversity of Otago
Co-authored by:
Professor Claire FreemanProfessorUniversity of Otago

Rebuilding Aotearoa’s unique nature in towns and cities to increase resilience of communities, infrastructure and nature
  • Examining how climate change creates the imperative and opportunities to re-build resilience
  • Exploring strategies and initiatives applied to conserve Aotearoa’s nature
  • Looking at examples of NZ’s towns and cities adapting to climate change
Robyn Simcock, Ecologist/Soil Scientist, Landcare Research
Afternoon break
Rethinking the battle on coastal erosion
  • How climate change has affected Aotearoa’s coastal communities
  • Understanding the reasons why existing coastal protection measures are failing
  • Exploring measures and research that could be utilised to mitigate the effects of global sea level rise
  • Prioritising funding to ensure implementation of such measures
  • How has a coastal town incorporated climate change, responsive actions and potential relocation in its plan?
Damian Young, Director, Morphum Environmental
Cat Davis , Environmental Scientist and Coastal Lead, Morphum Environmental
Process optimisation of regional, district and city plans
  • Experiencing how other authorities update regional, district and city plans
  • To what extent can the four plan making processes be optimised:
    • “Schedule 1” process
    • Limited notification process
    • Streamlined process
    • Collaborative process
Orchid Atimalala, National Planning and Policy Manager, 4Sight Planning
Case Study: Technology, sustainability and urban development
  • How does Orbica make use of datasets for smart planning?
  • GeoAI and urban development – what’s possible now and future applications
  • Using data visualisation to inform change (the journey from data to knowledge)
Robert Parsons, Business Development Leader, Orbica
Santosh Seshadri, Innovation Lead, Orbica
Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference
Ben van Bruggen, Manager of Urban Design Strategy of Auckland, Auckland Council
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