Resilient Urban Futures Programme

The New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities is running the Resilient Urban Futures research programme, thanks to a 4-year grant from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, which began in October 2012.

Our programme brings together a multi-disciplinary group of researchers, all focused on a key issue for New Zealand – how to develop vibrant, liveable, internationally competitive and resilient cities into the future.

The programme links researchers from:

  • NZ universities – Otago, Auckland, Massey, Victoria, Canterbury
  • National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research (NIWA)
  • Research institutes – Motu, Waiti, Aria
  • Local councils and iwi


Our research framework views cities as systems, emphasising for example the links between housing and transport and urban form and environment. Research focus areas have been developed in consultation with councils over the last several years. We emphasise comparative case studies and local policy experiments.

There are 9 research strands:

  1. Drivers of urban change in New Zealand
  2. Costs, benefits and risks of compact or dispersed urban development
  3. Residential choice and community formation
  4. How infrastructure links can shape urban development
  5. Wellington Integrated Land-use, Transport and Environment modelling (WILUTE)
  6. Modeling air quality, traffic emissions and energy use (TOTUS)
  7. Planning for and managing the effects of urban development on the values and resilience of urban water bodies
  8. ACTIVE: Evaluation of cycling and walking infrastructure and encouragement
  9. Tāone Tupu Ora: Māori involvement in urban planning and development

More information:

Information sheet on Resilient Urban Futures (pdf) >>

Story on the Resilient Urban Futures research programme >>


Presentations in September 2016 (PDFs):

Arthur Grimes, How infrastructure links shape urban development in New Zealand

Ralph Chapman, Compact urban form and sustainability

Karen Witten et al, Community formation in medium-density Auckland developments

Simon Kingham, What can we learn from post-EQ Christchurch

Jonathan Moores, Values and resilience of urban water bodies

NIWA, Towards sustainable urban form

Alistair Woodward (with Michael Keall), ACTIVE: Evaluation of government-funded cycling and walking infrastructure, and implications for Auckland

Lisa Early, Our reports on New Zealand cities, Drivers of urban change, Benchmarking cycling and walking

Nick Preval, Environmental sustainability impacts of Auckland Special Housing Areas