A coming of age, part two: Women In Urbanism on how to create a safer Auckland city

Safer cities

A coming of age, part two: Women In Urbanism on how to create a safer Auckland city

Auckland is in the midst of a metamorphosis. The city is standing on the same precipice as many other cities around the world, where it’s considering how to balance social, economic, and environmental welfare alongside a growing population set to reach 2.4 million by 2050. It presents a huge challenge for local urbanists, who are tasked with building a livable city without resorting to untenable sprawl or futile slums. However, there is light streaming onto Auckland’s urban posterity. New forms of density are being erected, diverse transport modes are mobbing the streets, and a new culture is running through the currents of the Waitematā. But, are Auckland’s past pains too broken to remedy? Findlay Buchanan talks to the architects, the planners, and the urban progressives, who are helping to reshape Auckland city.


Hila Oren is the CEO of the Tel Aviv and founder of Tel Aviv Global. At the age of 25, she was hired by the city’s mayor to come up with a story, or brand, for Tel Aviv. Now, Tel Aviv is globally recognised as a hotbed of innovation, while Oren is world-renown for her work in elevating the city to be recognised globally for its start-up culture. On a recent trip to Auckland, she discussed how to pinpoint the key qualities of a city’s identity, how New Zealand’s cities can become better recognised on the world stage, and more.

Simple living

Brooke and Elise Ratima are the co-founders and twins behind Sunna Studios, a new children’s clothing line is all-natural, ethical and organic, and hand dyed in their rural Auckland backyard studio using natural dyes sourced from plants. The aesthetic it captures is one of simplicity, slow living and beautiful pieces that will last the test of time. Here, they talk about their vision for a more conscious consumer-led world.

StopPress Presents

In what has become a yearly tradition, marketing and advertising news site StopPress is presenting its rundown of the big pitches, the big ideas, the big balls, the big stoushes, the big moves and the big whoopsies. You can vote for your favourites ahead of the Stoppies Event on 14 February over on their site here, or read on to find how to nab yourself some tickets.

Social data for our cities

Auckland is in a time of change. Projects based on the Auckland Plan 2050 are being proposed, Kiwibuild is in the works, and further transformations are afoot in council board rooms. Each will change the physical spaces of Auckland city, but more importantly, the projects will transform the lives of those that live in them. Last week, Radio New Zealand surfaced a key issue: that despite living in a multicultural city, Pākehā men have by far the loudest voice when it comes to shaping Auckland's future. It further exposed a disconnect between those carving our city's future and the public who occupies it. So what are some ways we can invite the public into the urban planning process? One Australian start-up hoping to solve this issue is Neighbourlytics, which uses social data to gauge public interaction in public places. We chatted with founder Jessica Christiansen-Franks at the MYOB tech start-up conference in Melbourne.


Design Work is a new podcast hosted by New Zealand designer Kate Darby that interviews trailblazing creatives from all over the globe about how they design and how they embrace new modes of working. In this first episode, she talks with Auckland-based Corpstudio founder Nathan Cooper, who counts Redbull, Uber and more among his agency's clients. Cooper talks about what it’s like to start a business as a creative person, how he runs a full service agency with only himself and one other person on staff and why side projects are the place that creativity is really hiding.

Shared networks

After years of domination, privately owned vehicles are being contested more than ever. Old-age forms of transport such as trams, buses, trains, and bicycles, are now at war with Lime scooters, Onzos, and Ubers. Around the world, the arrival of micro-mobility alternatives, dockless transport sharing networks, and ride hailing has parked the need for private car and bike ownership. In Europe, carpooling has been ‘all the rage’; in the US, car ownership has halted and car sharing companies such as Paris-based BlaBlaCar, and US-based Zipcar claim hundreds of thousands of members as they continue to grow and expand. Now Wellington based Mevo has harnessed the car sharing scheme in New Zealand, and it's seeing similarly strong results. We chat with its CEO Erik Zydervelt, who explains how the car-share scheme flows through a modern city.

Urban design

You may know Nat Cheshire as the designer behind some of Auckland City’s most character-defining developments, such as City Works Depot and much of Britomart, or as one of our Most Creative winners. As 2018 draws to a close, Cheshire has debuted a new development with his name attached to it called Morningside. But instead of being a masterpiece he’s created for a client, this time around, it’s his and his friends’ own money on the line. Here, he talks taking his vision for Auckland into the suburbs, tapping into the culture of Kingsland and where he’s casting his eye to develop next.


Mike George is the Kaiwhakahaere Whakapā Hononga (communications and partnerships manager) for the Tūpuna Maunga Authority and the communications manager for the co-governance unit at Auckland Council. Here, he reflects on the fact that the Tūpuna Maunga (ancestral mountains) or volcanic cones of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland are on the cusp of a significant shift in how they are understood and respected.