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Students advise on Hamilton’s sustainability direction

16 October 2013

Students advise on Hamilton’s sustainability direction

A group of Waikato University Environmental Planning students have had the chance to critique the Sustainability Strategy of Hamilton, and offer their thoughts on what it could include in the future.

The third-year students from the Planning for Sustainability paper presented their findings to a panel of external experts including representatives from the Hamilton City Council’s Strategy and Research team, councillor Daphne Bell – who stood down at the recent elections - and members from the newly formed Sustainability Panel, which will be advising Hamilton on how to improve its sustainability strategy.

Course convenor Professor Iain White says that in the Environmental Planning programme, students are actively encouraged to make connections with industry.

“The students really impressed the panel with their passion, their knowledge of the subject and their understanding of the realities of what is achievable. They also came up with some excellent ideas that have the potential to be implemented in revisions to the Sustainability Strategy.”

Suggestions from students drew upon international examples from Europe, the US and Australia and included increased transparency and accountability, changing the plan to become statutory with firm targets established, more integrated transport, urban food initiatives, incentives for eco-development and a greening of the public realm.

“A key message that came through was the need for better community engagement to enable motivated people, including the large student body of the city, to effectively contribute to Hamilton’s sustainability,” says Professor White.


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