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Urban affairs leader visits NZ

Urban affairs leader visits NZ

The visit this week by the former mayor of Brazilian city Curitiba is a practical next step towards sustainable cities in New Zealand, Urban Affairs Minister Marian Hobbs said today.

Jaime Lerner, a three term mayor of Curitiba and former governor of the Brazilian state of Parana, is visiting New Zealand at the invitation of the Ministry for the Environment, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Wellington City Council and the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

Mr Lerner is recognised worldwide for his leadership during the rapid growth of Curitiba ? a 310 year-old city ? from a population of 500,000 in 1965 to 1.6 million today.

Marian Hobbs says Curitiba is internationally recognised as a living example of how the sustainable development of a city can be achieved.

"In New Zealand, we have a programme of action in place for shaping sustainable cities, including developing an urban design protocol. Jaime Lerner's visit provides some guidance on how to make the vision a reality", Marian Hobbs said.

During his five-day visit to New Zealand, Mr Lerner will meet with mayors, CEOs and planning and urban design professionals in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. In Wellington, he will lead a discussion with regional mayors and CEOs, address a planning professionals workshop and attend an Infrastructure Forum with Marian Hobbs hosted by the Growth and Innovation Advisory Board.

Marian Hobbs says getting the right approach to development is critical to maintaining and improving New Zealanders way of life.

"We need to take a holistic view to our growth. A strategic approach to our urban policy will ensure that we give equal consideration to the economic, social environmental and cultural elements of development", she said.

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