Smart Urban Intensification


About the event

With the final Auckland Spatial Plan scheduled for public release in February, this is a great opportunity to engage with Auckland Council.

Further enhancing the format of last year's event, the 2012 agenda includes a new Mayoral Panel, strategic presentations from major City Councils and governance lessons from our international keynote speaker. NZ leaders will also be heading discussions on funding, housing and transport including Department of Building & Housing, NZTA and the Treasury.

CIO Keynotes
Gary Prattley
WA Planning Commission (AU)
Dr Roger Blakeley
Auckland Council
Stephen Town
John MacKay
Boffa Miskell
Prof. Philippa Howden-Chapman
University of Otago

Why you should attend

  • Gain knowledge from international and national speakers
  • Strategise with Council and industry leaders
  • Gather insight into the latest intensification issues
  • Be inspired by city vision and plans
  • Interact with those from across the industry

The latest topics being covered

  • Governance
  • Housing affordability
  • Transport initiatives
  • Funding challenges
  • Council planning


International keynote: Gary Prattley, Chairman, Western Australian Planning Commission

For four years, from 1997 to 2001, Mr Prattley was the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry for Planning in WA, predecessor of the Department of Planning. He was appointed as Chairman of the Western Australian Planning Commission in April 2009.

Gary Prattley has over 44 years experience in planning, urban management and governance at local, metropolitan, regional, state and national government levels.

Mr Prattley has private sector planning experience as a senior planning consultant working acrossAustraliaand headed government planning systems inWestern Australia,Tasmaniaand theAustralian Capital Territory. He was also responsible for Metropolitan Sydney in the New South Wales Department of Infrastructure and Planning.


Agenda: Day 1


Registration and coffee


Opening remarks from the Chair

Ian Munro, Senior Associate, UrbanismPlus


Mayoral Panel: The vision of our cities

Share in the visions of NZ cities in this address from the Mayors including:
• Designing Wellington to be a dynamic, smart and green business centre
• Tauranga as a city for all ages, providing for today and planning for tomorrow

Celia Wade-Brown, Mayor, Wellington
Stuart Crosby, Mayor, Tauranga
Penny Hulse, Deputy Mayor, Auckland


Auckland Spatial Plan: Finalised

The 30 year plan to transform Auckland into the most liveable city in the world has been finalised. Learn about Auckland’s Spatial Plan and how it is to be implemented.
• Who will fund the changes and how?
• Regulatory challenges including the new boundary rules and their impact on urban intensification
• Environmental and economic effects of attracting tourists to the city
• Effectively communicating the Spatial Plan and subsequent plans to the public

Dr Roger Blakeley, Chief Planning Officer, Auckland Council


Auckland Spatial Plan: Q&A

Take the opportunity to engage with the team in charge of NZ’s first Spatial Plan.

Dr Roger Blakeley, Chief Planning Officer, Auckland Council
Ree Anderson, Manager Regional Strategy Community & Cultural Policy, Auckland Council
David Clelland, Manager Spatial and Infrastructure Strategy, Auckland Council


Morning break & refreshments


Case Study: Wellington Towards 2040 Smart Capital Strategy

Cities are not static beasts. They grow, shrink, prosper, and fail at the mercy of luck and circumstance. Wellington’s city strategy was agreed by council in 2011. It aims to position Wellington as an internationally competitive city with a strong and diverse economy, a high quality of life and healthy communities. Learn more about the four city goals for Wellington.
• People Centred City, Connected City; Eco-City and Dynamic Central City
• The implementation plan

Teena Pennington, Director Strategy Planning & Urban Design, Wellington City Council


Case study: Re-building and intensifying Christchurch

With a new urban development strategy, discover how Christchurch plans to use design for efficient land use and re-gain a sense of community.
• Comparing Christchurch’s growth strategy pre and post-earthquake
• Governing an integrated approach to infrastructure and urban development
• Reviewing urban limits to ensure efficient land use
• Safe urban intensification and community engagement

Mike Theelen, General Manager Strategy & Planning Group, Christchurch City Council


Connecting city vision to outcomes

This session will reflect on key implementation challenges with delivering ambitious, complex and often multi-agency plans. Explore various elements and techniques that ensure plans successfully transition from talking to walking.
• Using internal relationships within and between public authorities
• International examples of how such plans are addressed overseas
• Managing possible tension between high-profile super projects and others

Kobus Mentz, Director, UrbanismPlus


Lunch break


International keynote: Governance is key

It is widely accepted that cities in Australia are 20 years ahead of NZ with urban intensification and that effective governance is essential. Learn what NZ is doing to address governance issues and what can be learned from Australian experience.
• Current and proposed NZ governance including plans for an urban design NPS
• Examining how Australian regulation, government-owned companies and statutory authorities could be applied in NZ

Gary Prattley, Chairman, Western Australian Planning Commission


An alternative approach to the compact city

Well-known critic and supporter of smart growth, Phil McDermott, will discuss alternative approaches to the compact city and the potential negative impact of intensification on the economic, social and sustainable environment.
• Rationing resources and distorting markets with a compact city
• Opportunities of polycentric, decentralised and linear models
• Lessons from current and past city models to apply in New Zealand

Phil McDermott, Planning Consultant, McDermott Consultants


Afternoon break & refreshments


Case study: Hamilton’s Health Impact Assessment

Without adequate environmental and social planning, living and working in a high density environment can increase the risk of negative public health outcomes in a city. Hamilton City Council and Population Health, Waikato District Health Board are currently applying health impact assessment (HIA) to the District Plan’s proposed residential intensification component. Examine the process and findings of the HIA.
• Process, policy and significance of HIA
• interaction between public health, policy and residential intensification
• Strategies to enhance positive public health outcomes and mitigate negative impacts

Kay Kristensen, Policy Analyst Population Health, Waikato District Health Board
Esmae McKenzie-Norton, Social Development Intern, Hamilton City Council


Social inclusion & communication

Urban spaces should be designed in a way that is inclusive of all societal groups. Discover how urban form, design and communication are key to creating a successful inclusive society in NZ’s growing multi-cultural and ageing society.
• Benefits and examples of social inclusion in urban design
• Promoting intensification plans through appropriate communication

Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, Director NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities, University of Otago


Summary remarks from the Chair


Networking drinks

Agenda: Day 2


Welcome back from the Chair

Ian Munro, Senior Associate, UrbanismPlus


Applying a ‘one network’ approach to transport

Plans for more high and medium density living across NZ will inevitably increase demand on transport. NZTA and Auckland Transport will share the principles of a one network approach and how it will be applied to support both public movement and economic growth.
• Advancing freight, port and public access with connected transport networks
• Electrification, rapid transit and smarter networks to manage capacity
• Policy to overcome car dependence and increase pedestrian-friendly areas

Stephen Town, Regional Director Auckland & Northland, NZTA
Peter Clark, Corporate Manager Strategy & Planning, Auckland Transport


Urban intensification along major transport corridors

Most urban intensification strategies now feature major transport corridors to support urban centres. Review ways of thinking about growth along arterials at a more incremental and affordable pace, while ensuring competitive quality-of-life for residents. Also explore the realities of change and use of spaces in NZ.
• Spatial realities of NZ’s ‘typical’ existing arterial corridors and quality of life
• Narrow corridor candidates compared with overseas
• Cost issues and understanding

Ian Munro, Senior Associate, UrbanismPlus


Transport initiatives in low density areas

There a number of transport market distortions that support low-density urban sprawl and high vehicle usage in NZ. Explore a range of transport initiatives that instead support urban intensification, reduce road network congestion, and also raise revenue for re-investment.
• Parking policies and management
• Incentives for intensification and peak avoidance (“Spitsmijden”)
• Levying development contribution using shadow tolls

Stuart Donovan, Transport Engineer & Economist, McCormick Rankin Cagney Ltd


Morning break & refreshments


Challenges funding urban intensification

Investigate economic factors shaping NZ’s urban development and impacting the feasibility of city plans.
• The Government’s borrowing task: Progress and future borrowing needs
• Impact of credit rating agency downgrades of NZ
• Global financial market: Comparing NZ with EU sovereigns and Australia
• NZDMO’s role in funding infrastructure: case study on Auckland’s new trains

Philip Combes, Chief Executive, NZ Local Government Funding Agency


Urban Design Panel: Challenges affecting Council implementing intensification

Engage with members of NZ’s Urban Design Panels to discuss the challenges facing Councils with the planning and actual implementation of intensification.
• Managing costs, benefits and misconceptions of intensification
• Funding and regulation issues around urban planning and development
• Workable solutions to fit NZ from the Urban Design Panel

Anthony Flannery, Managing Director, Chow Hill Architects
Ian Athfield, Director, Athfield Architects
John Hunt, Professor of Architecture, University of Auckland


Lunch break


Can urban intensification provide affordable housing?

This session explores whether urban intensification can deliver affordable housing without sacrificing quality in terms of urban design, building design and construction.
• What aspects of quality are important for medium density housing and which are most likely to be sacrificed to make cost savings?
• What is ‘affordable’ and how can upfront costs of quality be balanced with providing housing that is accessible for first time and lower income buyers?
• Barriers and solutions to delivering quality affordable housing in inner suburban / city medium density developments

Christopher Worth, Senior Advisor Policy, Department of Building & Housing
Duncan Joiner, Chief Architect, Department of Building & Housing


Developer’s perspective on developing affordable housing

With a negative lending environment and ongoing funding challenges, building consent figures are at their lowest in 20 years. Learn about challenges aligning urban intensification and affordable housing from the developer’s perspective.
• A market response to affordable housing: market economics and consumer preference
• How housing is made affordable and constraints in doing this
• Principles and challenges of funding and developing affordable housing

Martin Udale, Director, Canvas Investments Limited


Afternoon break & refreshments


Case Study: Addressing social, educational and economic issues by design

As NZ’s largest urban renewal programme, the Tāmaki Transformation Programme brings a multi-sector partnership approach to improving societal outcomes. Explore how a fully integrated whole of community approach, a regenerated mix of housing types and improved open space networks will deliver sustainable change.
• New opportunities for social housing and managing growth
• Social transformation using a strengths-based approach
• Economic change based on customised learning and capacity building
• Using urban design to address health, education and employment issues

Nick Hill, Tamaki Transformation Transition Manager, Martin Jenkins & Associates Ltd


Finding effective tools to implement a Spatial Plan

With the finalisation of Auckland’s first Spatial Plan, it is important to ensure that the tools for delivery, particularly the Unitary Plan, implement the vision on the ground. Explore how effective delivery can be achieved in situations where the previous Regional Growth Strategy struggled including:
• Greenfields residential and brownfields
• Old and new industrial zones
• Town centres and their suburban residential catchments

John Mackay, Principal Urban Design, Boffa Miskell Ltd


Closing remarks from the Chair and end of conference



Delivering great urban precincts and places

8th March 2012: 9.00am – 5.00pm

The need for high quality, provocative and memorable urban places is now generally accepted as a key deliverable of the sustainability agenda. While these spaces rightly need to be attractive and well-designed, they equally need to meet a full range of users’ needs beyond the aesthetic and remain cost-effective in the short and long term.

This workshop will equip participants with the skills to identify, articulate and justify opportunities that can manage all of these tensions. It will feature a combination of presentations, national and international examples, and facilitated group-work.

Key learning outcomes:

  • Understand key elements of great places and the benefits of getting it right
  • Learn how to ensure that the land use mix (economic needs) and user characteristics (social needs) remain in focus
  • Learn how to combine creative and analytical processes to promote visionary but rational thinking
  • Find out how to target and prioritise the issues that matter the most
  • Discover how to address technical problems by determining and using the right mix of skills and interests
  • Determine how to achieve win-win outcomes where reward is shared

Who should attend:

  • City Development Managers 
  • Spatial Strategy Managers 
  • Social Development Advisors 
  • Urban Planners and Designers 
  • Architects 
  • Urban Economists

Facilitated by:
Kobus Mentz, Director, UrbanismPlus
Kobus Mentz is one of the leading sustainability based urban designers in Australia and
New Zealand. His firm has received numerous national awards for their growth planning, professional training, regeneration projects, transport specific urban design and design guidelines.


Interested in sponsorship?

There are some exclusive opportunities to promote your company, and its products and services, at this leading event. Contact the sponsorship team below to request a prospectus or discuss the options, or view more about event sponsorship.