We held a seminar on neighbourhood renewal. Philippa Howden-Chapman and Karen Witten showed outstanding examples of low-carbon urban renewal in Europe, and drew parallels with NZ urban developments, including housing and smarter street design. See the video >>

The advantages of urban and neighbourhood renewal, and particularly housing intensification and infrastructure for cycling, have been the subject of much debate in New Zealand recently. In this talk we showed outstanding examples of low-carbon urban renewal in the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and England that we explored in a recent MBIE-funded European tour. The focus was on the integration of low-carbon housing with public transport, highlighting the range of development models possible. We drew parallels and contrasts with New Zealand urban developments, including Hobsonville Point and a smarter street design intervention under construction in Auckland.


  • Philippa Howden-Chapman is a professor of public health at the University of Otago, Wellington, where she teaches public policy. She is director of He Kainga Oranga/ Housing and Health Research Programme and the NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities. She has conducted a number of randomised community housing trials in partnership with local communities, which have had a major influence on housing, health and energy policy. She has published widely and received awards for her work, including the Prime Minister’s Science Prize in 2014. She is chair of the WHO Housing and Health Guideline Development Group, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and leads the MBIE-funded Resilient Urban Futures research programme.
  • Karen Witten is a professor of public health at SHORE & Whariki Research Centre at Massey University, Auckland. She is a geographer and psychologist with an interest in urban neighbourhoods and how their design and infrastructure influences the social relationships, transport choices and well-being of residents. She is a lead researcher in the Resilient Urban Futures programme on residential choice and community formation, and in other current work is exploring children’s and parents’ experiences of neighbourhood environments.

This event was held on Wednesday 29 June 2016 at Adam Auditorium, City Gallery, 101 Wakefield St, Wellington.

Housing & Building Transport Urban design & planning Urban Governance