Sustainable urban design from London and what we can learn from it

Sustainable urban design from London and what we can learn from it

It’s expected to reel in close to four billion viewers, but exactly how sustainable will the 2012 London Olympics be? Possibly more sustainable than you’d expect, and an expert from the UK who’s had a big hand in it all is getting set to tell us all about it as part of the Auckland Council-led Auckland Conversations series.

Dr Richard Simmons has over 30 years experience in town planning, regeneration and urban design. He has led in central and local government, and in development corporations and regeneration companies, as well as serving on the boards of several regeneration partnerships. With an interest in railways and urban history (the subject of his PhD) Simmons also holds an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes University for his contribution to planning, architecture and urban design. In other words, he knows his stuff.

As part of his presentation, Simmons will advocate the need for sustainability to be at the heart of all urban design practice, setting out why this is important in hard times. He will offer a definition of urban design which is about more than just prettification, arguing that sustainable urban design has to be conceived at appropriate scales - the street, neighbourhood and city – to get the best results.

The centrepiece of his lecture will be a case study of the design of the London 2012 Olympic Park and venues in East London, in which he and his former organisation CABE were closely involved. In October 2011 the London 2012 Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) will publish a series of research reports into the good practice it has developed in sustainable procurement, architecture, landscape and urban design. Simmons will give New Zealanders some insights into this good practice ahead of the ODA’s publications.

Sound like your cup of tea? Here are the details:

Date: Tuesday 6 September 2011

Time: 5.00pm-7.00pm (registration 4.45pm)

Venue: Sky City Theatre, corner Federal and Victoria Streets, Auckland

Cost: $30.00 (GST inclusive)


4.45pm: Registration

5.00pm: Reception (with refreshments)

5.30pm: Welcome – Helen Atkins, President, RMLA / Roger Blakeley, Chief Planning Officer, Auckland Council

5.40pm: Introduction of Keynote Speaker – Hon Peter Salmon QC

5.50pm: Keynote Speaker – Dr Richard Simmons

6.45pm: Q&A

Register online at

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