We held a seminar with speakers Paul Blaschke, Myfanwy Emeny and Peter Gilberd. When we think of resilient cities do we consider the role of green space? Does the supply of adequate green space conflict or compete with other necessary components of urban infrastructure? What more would we want from our green spaces in a city like Wellington? View the event video.

Parks and green spaces are easily overlooked in our earnest discussions about urban resilience, but in fact they contribute enormously to city residents’ wellbeing and quality of life. High quality, accessible green spaces should be regarded as just as important a component of urban infrastructure as clean water, efficient transport and waste disposal. This talk summarises New Zealand and relevant international research on green space in New Zealand cities, Wellington City in particular: their importance, distribution and accessibility.

Presentation: Paul Blaschke, Green Space in a Resilient City (pdf)


Northland harbour


  • Paul Blaschke is an independent environmental consultant and teacher based in Wellington. An ecologist by training, Paul is involved in a wide range of environmental restoration, assessment, and research projects, both professionally and as a member of local environmental groups, and lectures in environmental studies and environmental health at Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Otago, Wellington. His research interests centre on urban ecology and the roles of green space in urban resilience. He is a member of the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities.
  • Myfanwy Emeny works at Wellington City Council, Parks Sport and Recreation as the Open Space and Specialist Parks Manager.
  • Peter Gilberd is a councillor, city scientist and portfolio leader on the Natural Environment at the Wellington City Council. He has a background in physics, as a teacher and researcher. Before being elected to Council, Peter worked at the Royal Society Te Aparangi, managing the Marsden Fund, which funds leading research in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. He has an interest in the natural environment and has been involved in projects to restore Wellington’s native bush for many years.

This seminar took place on Wednesday 23 August 2017 at Adam Auditorium, City Gallery, 101 Wakefield St, Wellington.

For more information please contact libby.grant@otago.ac.nz.

Climate Change Health NZ Policy Urban design & planning