MEDIA RELEASE | Making New Zealand’s future cities more liveable

07 November 2019

New Zealand’s urban future and the role of planners in creating liveable communities will be highlighted at vents throughout the country tomorrow (8 November), in celebration of World Town Planning Day.

Climate change, streamlining the resource consent process, infrastructure challenges and new urban developments are among some of the topics that will be addressed. The events are being hosted by the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) in Tauranga, Christchurch and Cromwell.

World Town Planning Day, now in its 70th year, is celebrated each November in more than 30 countries. It aims to draw global attention to the environmental impacts of urban development, and promote the role of planners in shaping communities.

Developing sustainable and internationally-competitive communities is a significant and ongoing issue in New Zealand, says NZPI chair Karyn Sinclair.

“Nearly 90 percent of New Zealanders now live in towns and cities, therefore urban resilience is becoming increasingly important,” says Karyn.

“The challenges of climate change, our ageing population, affordable housing, transport, water quality and infrastructure add new dimensions to urban planning, and ultimately will have a significant impact on the future direction of our cities.”

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2019 Competitive Cities report [1], 99 percent of New Zealand’s population growth has been in urban areas. “Like much of the world, New Zealanders are heavily invested in their cities,” the report states.

Karyn agrees. “Functional cities and towns create great spaces for people to live, work and play, celebrate their culture and engage with their communities. They are an essential element of overall wellbeing in New Zealand.”

New Zealand’s future cities and communities need to be planned with people in mind and how they work, live and play, adds Karyn.

In recognition of World Town Planning Day 2019, the Global Planners Network (GPN) has released a joint statement with the NZPI encouraging greater public participation and diversity.

“At its heart, planning is about equity – it serves to balance the competing demands and needs of all people and of the built and natural environment,” states GPN.

“Planning is central to humankind’s efforts to address climate change and take decisive action to safeguard our land, homes, economies and natural habitats so that future generations might share the benefits that present generations enjoy.

“If we are to plan properly for the needs of all people, we must recognise their diverse lifestyles and requirements.”


NZPI will be hosting the following events in celebration of World Town Planning Day tomorrow (Friday, 8 November). Please contact Katie Moore via the details below if you would like to attend.

TAURANGA: Time to plan for change

Dr Silvia Serrao-Neumann, Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato, will talk about the need to proactively manage future climate change impacts and scenarios.

Dr Serrao-Neumann is renowned for her research on climate change adaption, community planning for disaster recovery and resilience, scenario planning and water sensitive cities.

  • Time: 12pm – 1pm
  • Location: University of Waikato, Te Manawaroa room

CHRISTCHURCH: Riverside Farmers Market

Developers behind the new Riverside Farmers Market will present to Canterbury planners.

  • Time: 7:15am – 9:30am
  • Location: Starts at Maison de Crepes, 173 St Asaph Street, Christchurch

CROMWELL: ‘Eye to the future’ master plan

Planning experts from Central Otago District Council will present on the Cromwell Spatial Plan – a recently announced framework that will manage the region’s future growth and town centre development during the next 30 years.

  • Time: 6pm – 8:30pm
  • Location: Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell (Pit Lane Conference Room)

For further information, please contact:

Katie Moore
Convergence Communications
P: 022 0922 573