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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.

Rethinking Pacific Auckland. Presentation by Damon Salesa, Associate Professor, Centre for Pacific Studies, University of Auckland

Monday 28 April, 4pm-5.30pm
Genesis Energy Theatre, Vodafone Events Centre, 770 Great South Road, Manukau

The Auckland Council Research, Investigations and Monitoring Unit (RIMU) and Auckland Conversations invite you to a presentation by Associate Professor Damon Salesa titled Rethinking Pacific Auckland.

Auckland has always been deeply engaged with the Pacific. Though many of these engagements were critical and important, none were as transformative as the massive population movement that brought thousands of Pacific Island people to resettle in Auckland after World War Two. But despite the established and crucial significance of Pacific people and engagements with Auckland, in many respects Auckland's leadership has struggled to come to terms with its Pacific dimensions and location. Auckland has increasingly claimed an identity as a "Pacific City", perhaps, but still uneasily and selectively. 

It is impossible to understand Auckland's past, present and future without properly understanding its multiple Pacific dimensions. But the ways in which this has largely been pursued has largely produced partial understandings. The last decades have seen the production of Pacific Peoples as a "target population", a population made legible in government and analytical categories and processes. This process has provided access to resources, and shaped people's and communities' lives; and yet the same process has simplified or misapprehended key dimensions of these communities.

Confronted with the tremendously complicated vista of Pacific concerns, too often we move forward with blunt tools and dated understandings. How might these understandings be reconvened or redefined, particularly in the areas of great concern for Pacific Auckland: education, employment, property ownership and in new policy initiatives, particularly The Southern Initiative.

Any queries, please contact Alyssa Stent on 09 484 8780 or alyssa.stent@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.  

Cities for People - Former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation - Janette Sadik-Khan

Monday 26 May, 3.30pm-7pm, doors open 3.30pm, screening of The Human Scale 3.45pm, networking 5pm, Auckland Conversations welcome 5.30pm
Aotea Centre, Lower NZI Conference Room, central Auckland 
The Human Scale (starts 3.45pm)
The Human Scale, an internationally acclaimed documentary movie, features past and upcoming Auckland Conversations speakers:

  • Jan Gehl - Gehl Associates, Copenhagen were commissioned for the Auckland Public Life Survey 2010 and major contributor to the City Centre Masterplan 2012
  • Professor Rob Adams - Director of Design - City of Melbourne
  • Paul Steely-White - New York Alternative Transportation (October 2013)
  • Janette Sadik-Khan - Transport Commisioner, New York (May 2014).

“First we shape our cities, then our cities shape us” - Jan Gehl.

Today we face peak oil, climate change, loneliness and severe health issues due to our way of life. Fifty percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050 this will increase to 80 percent.

As we move from the age of the megacity to the gigacity, film director Andreas Dalsgaard takes us on a chaptered journey, from Copenhagen through New York, LA, Chongqing, Siena, Dhaka and Melbourne to Christchurch, examining urban issues and challenges.

This visually stunning and thought-provoking documentary looks at ‘cities for people’ with proponent Jan Gehl - a Danish architect, professor and urban designer whose career has focused on improving the quality of urban life by reorienting city design towards the pedestrian and cyclist. 

Cities for People with Janette Sadik-Khan (starts 5.30pm)
Janette Sadik-Khan served as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation and was appointed by Mayor Michael R Bloomberg in April of 2007.

Janette will share her expertise on sustainable public transportation in New York City. She has lead on many innovative projects such as the creation of Broadway Boulevard, installation of 23 plazas, the addition of more than 285 miles of on-street bike lanes, car-free summer streets, weekend pedestrian walks and creating more durable and attractive streets.

Janette has received numerous international accolades for her contribution to public service and transportation.

Register for this event. 

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View webinars of past presentations and biographies of speakers