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Avenues and oases in the capital – urban development seminar

Avenues and oases in the capital – urban development seminar – Sat 18 October

The Wellington Civic Trust is holding a free public seminar on Saturday morning to explore ideas on the future shape of the eastern Te Aro area, between the bottom of Mt Victoria and Taranaki Street and the Basin Reserve and the harbour.

With the inner city population growing steadily and demand increasing for inner city apartments, the Wellington City Council has identified the area, which is also a key transport route through the city, as a key site for development.

“How can we ensure it develops as an attractive place where people enjoy living and working?” asks Trust Chair Alan Smith. “We think it has something to do with the notion of avenues and oases with well-designed public spaces facilitating movement and congregation, stimulation and relaxation. We want to ensure Wellington keeps on growing as a capital city of which people feel proud.”

Speakers and panellists at the half-day seminar include urban planners, designers, architects, property owners, business leaders and residents. Reflecting diverse perspectives on the city, all share an active and passionate concern for the ongoing prosperity of the capital.

Following an opening address from the Mayor, Celia Wade-Brown, leading New Zealand filmmaker and longtime Wellington resident Gaylene Preston will give the keynote address. As her films speak to New Zealand culture and identity, so too Gaylene wants the urban environment to speak to our place in the world. Practically, she says that also means creating shelter from wind.

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“We need sunny, sheltered outdoor spaces that are flexible and comfortable places to gather, converse, while-away the day and rejuvenate. Let's have less 'concept' in our city planning and more 'enhancing’,” she says.

With Victoria University playing an increasingly prominent role in the city, Chancellor Ian McKinnon argues that a vibrant city is important to ensure students from Wellington and increasingly around the country continue to choose Wellington as their preferred place to study.


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