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Urban leader - A newsletter for urban design champions

Issue no. INFO 634 | 15 December 2011


Seasons greetings. Thank you for your ongoing support throughout the year! Together we have worked in making New Zealand towns and cities more successful through quality urban design. Enjoy the summer sun, those interesting urban spaces and we look forward in working with you in 2012.

In this issue we have:

Signatory news

The new Manukau rail line and Manukau Station will open in February 2012.  The 2km Manukau line is the first new rail route to be built in Auckland since 1930.  When completed the Manukau Station will include a new Manukau Institute of Technology campus and will be the main transport hub for trains and buses in the south of Auckland.

Christchurch City Council is consulting on its draft master plans for Lyttelton and Sydenham.  The master plans set the direction for these two areas and form part of the Suburban Centres Programme.  Consultation closes 19 December 2011.

The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Plan sets out how the city will fix its earthquake damaged roads and underground services.  It has been prepared by Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Earthquake Recover Agency, New Zealand Transport Agency, and the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team.

Lincoln University’s Landscape Review is calling for papers on post-disaster landscapes.  It is looking to address questions such as how do disasters affect identity, well-being, and sense of place? Manuscripts are due by 24 February 2012.

Dunedin City Council is consulting on its draft Spatial Plan. The Spatial Plan describes ‘what kind of city we want to have’, sets the direction for growth and development for the next 30+ years and links land use planning to long term infrastructure provision.  Consultation closes on 13 January 2012.

Upcoming urban design event

The Department of Public Health, University of Otago is holding its 16th Public Health Summer School in Wellington from the 7 to 24 February. This includes a two day workshop on Health Impact Assessment: Advancing theory and practice of wellbeing in local government on the 16 and 17 February 2012.

Geelong, Victoria hosts Australia’s 5th Healthy Cities Conference on 6-8 June 2012.  Working Together to Achieve Liveable Cities is a platform for government and industry professionals to explore issues such as sustainability, urban design, climate change and natural resource management.

Useful links and current information

New Zealand

  • Auckland features as one of the New York Times’ most hip cities to live in.  This worldwide survey looked at quality of life as well as cities that ‘aim to be both smart and well managed, yet have an undeniably hip vibe.’
  • The Office of the Auditor General has released its discussion paper Managing the Implications of Private Public Partnerships (PPPs).  The paper examines how PPPS have been used (in New Zealand and overseas) to capture innovation and change by sharing risks and responsibilities.


  • The Australian Urban Design Protocol Creating Places for People has been released. The protocol is the result of two years of collaboration between community and industry organisations, States, Territories, Local Governments, and the Australian Government with some help from New Zealand’s Ministry for the Environment in the initial stages.
  • First furniture, then houses, now its whole suburbs for IKEA who are planning on building a 1200 home neighbourhood in East London.
  • In the UK the Housing Strategy has recently been released in an attempt to get the housing market moving again.  This broad based strategy looks at issues such as reusing houses that haven’t been lived in for years, fairness in social housing, and improving environmental standards and design.
  • Check out some creative ways to boost community involvement in planning and design. Kite photography allows people access to aerial photography in places where Google maps are not available or to highlight particular local and/or current issues. In Canada students created a 1.5m long edible model of the local area to stimulate discussion about planned changes and the massive chocolate cake was reported as a success.
  • A US commentator reveals statistics that show that people tend to over-report on their good intentions to travel to work by foot, bike or transit.  When asked how someone ‘usually’ travels compared with how they actually travelled the day before – it turns out the yesterday is quite often different!
  • International ideas of working with our urban fabric can be found in improving the cul de sac and on a different scale the drive through office in Japan.

Website of the month

Pop Up City is an Amsterdam based online magazine which presents a wide range of stimulating articles on new ideas, trends and strategies for cities.

Podcasts of the month

Take a tour of the Christchurch CBD red zone.  Based on the very popular bus tours that have been running in the city this 30 minute video by CERA’s General Manager of Demolitions looks at sites where buildings have been demolished and the Cashel Mall Restart development.

Architecture and Design Scotland has released a series of video presentations from its September 2011 Design Skills Symposium.

We want your news items

Do you have news that you would like reported in the next Urban Leader? This is our last newsletter this year but we welcome your stories and information for our first newsletter for February 2012. Email us at

Submitted articles may be edited by the Ministry for the Environment.


Last updated: 1 February 2013