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Auckland Conversations 

Auckland Conversations 

Auckland Conversations is a free speaker event that presents both national and international keynote speakers. All speakers are leaders in their areas of expertise and can inspire, influence and inform both the public and council officers.

Each speaker will present on topics that relate to the vision and issues facing Auckland to become the world’s most liveable city, and endorse the planning, economic, environmental and policy strategies as set out in the Auckland Plan, City Centre Master Plan and Economic Development Strategy.

This programme is an initiative of the Chief Planning Office, Auckland Council. 

Event topic scope:

  • Design - urban design, architecture, place making and city/town/waterfront planning.
  • Economic development drivers and influencers - innovation, transport, tourism, socio-economic issues.
  • Heritage - natural, cultural and built heritage.
  • Environment - eco-city sustainability initiatives and issues.

Liveable Cities - Vibrant Waterfronts 

Brent Toderian - UrbanWorks

Monday 20 October, doors open 5pm for a 5.30pm start

Shed 10, Queens Wharf, 99 Quay Street, central Auckland

In association with Waterfront Auckland and the New Zealand Planning Institute.

Brent Toderian is an internationally respected practitioner in downtown, main street and waterfront planning and urban design. He consults for cities and developers across the globe, with current or recent international engagements that include the cities of Sydney, Auckland, Oslo, Helsinki, Medellin and Ottawa.
Brent has led on transformative place-making, street activation and mobility strategies through award-winning downtown and waterfront planning and design in two of Canada’s fastest changing cities, Vancouver and Calgary, as well as providing peer advice globally.
Auckland is embarking on a design-led approach to city transformation and is quickly becoming a global city-to-watch when it comes to urban design and waterfront transformation. Auckland’s aim is to become the world's most liveable city. Its waterfront vision is: A public, connected and liveable waterfront that excites the senses and celebrates Auckland's sea-loving pacific culture and maritime history.
But is there another level of innovation we can reach? Great waterfronts can be a city's greatest asset, but only if we make the most of the opportunities they provide. Using principles, "best practice" projects and big ideas from waterfront cities around the world,  Brent Toderian will continue his city-shaping advice to Auckland with a talk on how rethinking our waterfronts can transform our cities and discuss with us the next level of Auckland Waterfront innovation.  

Register for this event.  

Landscape as the Driver of Development Strategy and the Vision for New Infrastructure

Professor Kathryn Moore - 2014 President of the International Federation of Landscape Architecture

Thursday 30 October, doors open 12.45pm for a 1pm start

Limelight Room, Aotea Centre, Aotea Square, central Auckland

In association with The NZILA Education Foundation.

Kathryn Moore's design work has included collaboration with other landscape architects on major projects in Birmingham, UK such as the re-visioning of Salford Quays, widespread derelict land reclamation, urban regeneration, public realm creation and landscape management. 

Kathryn's experience in bringing communities together to find a better way of delivering the proposed high-speed rail project between London and Birmingham has attracted considerable support from local and regional stakeholders, including the Chambers of Commerce and local councils. It has significant implications for infrastructure projects in New Zealand.

HS2 is the UK's largest infrastructure project for generations. Kathryn's proposal is that it should be turned from a linear engineering project into an iconic landscape infrastructure that will be a catalyst for wider social and economic transformation. She argues that HS2LV represents a unique opportunity to create an enduring legacy by placing the landscape at the core of the project.

Another project, Thurrock Garden City, uses a similar holistic and integrated approach to build confidence, aspirations and inspire a new way of working to achieve radical change in a borough that has until recently been regarded as an impoverished dumping ground for London.

Register for this event.

Van Cycle Chic - Observations from an Emerging Bike Culture

Chris and Melissa Bruntlett - Modacity, Vancouver

Tuesday 4 November, doors open at 5pm for a 5.30pm start (bike racks and secure parking at rear of venue)

The Maritime Room, Voyager Maritime Museum, Viaduct Harbour, downtown Auckland

In association with MRCagney and Auckland Transport.

Chris and Melissa Bruntlett will present a fresh perspective on cycling, as the central voice of Vancouver’s emerging citizen cycling movement.

Focused on utility over speed, and riding in street clothes rather than Lycra, they make cycling an everyday act of pleasurable (and sustainable) mobility.

Chris, Melissa, and their two children, Etienne and Coralie, sold their family car in 2010. They have surprised many, not least of all themselves, with how practical, easy and enjoyable two-wheeled travel is. This includes the multitude of trips to school and activities that are an inevitable part of parenthood. Melissa blogs about their experiences at Modacity, which attracts a global audience fascinated with the (many) triumphs and (few) challenges of their car-free, urban lifestyle.

Their family’s mobility is facilitated by a city that has done better than most in North America to provide bicycle infrastructure for people of all ages and abilities.

Chris and Melissa will focus on what safe and accessible space for cycling means in practical terms, for experiencing the pleasures of the city, and participating in public life.

Their presentation will include a selection of the Vancouver Cycle Chic films, produced by Chris, which intimately profile a number of Vancouverites who cycle for transportation; demonstrating that riding a bike is a way to be “a part of the city, not apart from the city”. 

One of the films, Heart and Soul, was recently awarded Best Bicycle Short Film at the New Urbanism Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Register for this event.  

Join the Auckland Conversations mailing list for information about future events. 

View webinars of past presentations and biographies of speakers.