Urban Futures New Zealand

Shaping the sustainable and accessible towns and cities of the future

Event Details


Registration and coffee
Joint Plenary - Urban Futures NZ and NZ Infrastructure Funding conferences
Opening remarks from the Chairs
Rachel Devine, Partner – Environment, MinterEllisonRuddWatts
Fleur Aldridge, Principal Solicitor, Auckland Council
Realising the vision of the Thirty Year New Zealand Infrastructure Plan 2015
  • Understanding the goals for resilient and coordinated infrastructure and its implications for NZ
  • Delving into the pipeline for funding and how it meets NZ infrastructure needs
  • Placing strategic value and quality of life as the core objective and how this fits with the overall infrastructure plan
Thomas Simonson, Principal Regulatory Advisor, Local Government New Zealand
Morning Break
Breaks into Urban Futures NZ and NZ Infrastructure Funding conferences
Deep South Challenge: Flood Management in Rural Areas – The Location and Effectiveness of Flood Schemes
Patrick Walsh, Senior Economist & Capability Leader, Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research
Legislative, policy and RMA framework developments

An examination and update of the most important legislative and regulatory developments affecting urban planning and development.

Luke Hinchey, Partner – Environment, Planning & Resource Management & Chapman Tripp
The demographics of New Zealand’s future urban centres

• What is the data telling us about the design and planning of our urban environments
• What are the relevant trends found in recent census results data?
• How can urban design be used to better integrate the different demographic and socio-economic groups, and therefore produce better outcomes for society?
• What does the data tell us about future living risks, challenges & opportunities?

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro-Vice Chancellor – College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Massey University
Lunch Break
Table talks
The changing face and form of New Zealand’s cities

• How have New Zealand cities grown and evolved, and what have been the driving forces behind these changes?
• How can intensification be delivered cost-effectively and attractively?
• What effects will demographic changes have on the growth patterns of our towns and cities, and their infrastructure needs?

John Polkinghorne, Associate Director, RCG Ltd.
Building smart towns and cities

• Planning for efficiency across the board
• Maintaining long-term visions amidst ever-changing technologies
• Planning for extreme climate events and the unforeseen

John Mauro, Chief Sustainability Officer, Auckland Council
Afternoon Break
Panel: Local government breakdown

Join the panel as they discuss what is being done by local governments across the country to ensure that towns and cities live up to their residents’ expectations.

Kelvin Clout, Deputy Mayor, Tauranga City Council
Chris Calvi-Freeman, Councillor – Eastern Ward, Wellington City Council
John Mauro, Chief Sustainability Officer, Auckland Council
Annette Richards, Freelance Parks Open Space Community Professional, formerly at Hamilton City Council
Keeping it grounded – how to avoid falling for an unachievable future

Exploring the issues that make it difficult for many of those involved in the planning of future urban centres to fully achieve their visions, and the ways in which the more enterprising individuals have found to overcome them and keep their feet firmly in reality.

Shelley Katae, GM of Strategy and Performance, Tāmaki Regeneration Company
Summary remarks from the Chair & Networking drinks
Welcome back from the Chair
Transport options for the future urban environments
Mike Lee, Councillor - Waitemata & Gulf Ward, Auckland Council
Table talks
Morning Break
The public services that all great centres need

Decent schools and hospitals, reliable emergency services, and an on time public transport network are the services that are needed to ensure an urban centre is considered a truly liveable and desirable location.

  • Ensuring longevity and futureproofing of the essential services
  • What will the future face of public services be and how will the public engage them?
  • Highlighting where potential roadblocks in current legislation and policy are
Liz Halsted, Cities Digital & Place Shaping Leader, ARUP
Case study: The impact of pedestrianising town centres

In order to improve liveability, public health and help achieve carbon neutrality, many cities around the world are introducing car-free zones.

  • The international rationale for introducing car-free zones
  • How could micro-mobility, including e-scooters and e-bikes, change the way people access town centres?
  • The impact of the way different generations travel, and want to travel, on urban centre planning
  • Aspects that could be incorporated for the future proofing of New Zealand’s urban centre design
Matt Ensor, Business Director – Advisory, Beca
Ensuring social and civil life in post event legacy

World-class and national-level events help to foster a vibrant and engaging social atmosphere and help to make cities truly world-class. However, in many instances, expensive event venue and infrastructure developments are neglected post-event and underutilised.

  • What lessons can be learnt from abroad when addressing these expectations 
  • How to include post-event life in the initial planning and vision 
Katelyn Orton, Project Development Director - Waterfront, Panuku Development Auckland
Paul Nicoll, Technical Advisor Programming, Panuku Development Auckland
Lunch Break
Parks and recreation – the case for urban green spaces

Parks, squares and green spaces are essential parts of any liveable urban environment. They provide meeting places and relaxation zones for local residents, as well as acting as lungs for the local area. 

  • Global and local trends in public spaces design 
  • Incorporating safety and health concerns into designs 
  • The effects of public spaces have on local health and wellbeing 
Annette Richards, Freelance Parks, Open Space & Community Professional & formerly at Hamilton City Council
Quickfire: Model towns - developments and re-developments

A look at developments that are aiming to redefine what a neighbourhood is through how we live and interact with our local community.

  • Creating healthy, affordable and inclusive communities
  • Prioritising future growth and future needs
  • Insights into lessons learnt in the planning and consenting processes
Hayley Fitchett, Manager – Masterplanning and Urban Design, HLC
Afternoon Break
Challenge discussion: Defining our liveable towns and cities
  • What are the criteria that we should be aiming for?
  • How to get the public behind the hard decisions?
  • How do people actually want to live?
  • Where will the funding come from?
Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro-Vice Chancellor – College of Humanities & Social Sciences, Massey University
Liz Halsted, Cities Digital & Place Shaping Leader, ARUP
John Polkinghorne, Associate Director, RCG Ltd.
Setting the groundwork for New Zealand’s future urban centres

Ensuring that the plans for tomorrow are put into action today is one of the hardest parts of the overall development phase, and if done correctly can lead to a more vibrant and attractive urban future.

HWTM Sir Tim Shadbolt, Mayor of Invercargill, Invercargill City Council
Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference
The Excellerant Group
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