Idealog Urban

Eight lessons Auckland can learn from Toronto

Global thinking

Eight lessons Auckland can learn from Toronto

Despite the Economist’s vote of confidence for Auckland as the Eighth Most Liveable City in the World for 2017, we who live here know city planners must do better. In this piece originally published on the Ray White Damerell Group website, Vicki Holder discusses how the City of Sails can learn from the success Toronto has had in managing growth while making the city more liveable.


We live in a world where architectural (and all) imagery is ubiquitous. An image of a new building in New York screen-grabbed online on Monday can influence a design brief for a project in Wellington, New Zealand on Tuesday. How do we ensure that we counter this homogenisation in our highly connected world? A valid response is to promote the appreciation and understanding of identity, and how it can be translated into built form to lend our work meaning and integrity.


Correlating design with the cultural identity and context is the only real foundation for authentic architecture. Everything else is academic, spatial and formal exercise – just architectural aerobics. Warren and Mahoney's Andrew Barclay discusses.

Urban renewal

The rise of fast-casual dining is having an influence on some of the most well known fast food restaurant chains in the business – most recently, fried chicken giant KFC. It opened up an urban restaurant on Fort St in Auckland’s CBD earlier this year. We spoke to the creative branding and design company Saturday about the thinking behind the new space.

Designing the invisible

As our cities become denser, the role public space plays in thriving urban areas cannot be underestimated. That’s the message Wall Street Journal’s 2013 design innovator of the year and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects principal Thomas Woltz says – and he believes Auckland, our densest city, is doing an extraordinary job of it.

Enhancing the experience

Some commentators think food and integrated hospitality offerings will save brick and mortar retail from obsolescence in the age of ecommerce. In the Enhancing the Experience series Courtney Devereux looks into why these two different sectors are working together.