Cities of Tomorrow panel discussion series
Making cities sustainable amid major environmental changes, rising inequalities and technological developments is the essential puzzle French and New Zealand experts will unpick in August.
The “Cities of Tomorrow” public discussions in Auckland (August 23), Wellington (August 25) and Christchurch (August 27) will bring together panelists with expertise in architectural design, transport, energy, housing, public health, public investment and local government to cover topics ranging from smart integration of a city’s networks and infrastructure, the relationship between urban living and nature and building inclusive cities.
The panels will draw on the experiences of cities in France and New Zealand and explore how cities can offer the best quality of life for all, putting environmental and economic considerations alongside political and cultural perspectives. Kim Hill will chair the “Cities of Tomorrow” series, which RNZ will record for broadcast.
The first discussion in Auckland will focus on what makes a really buzzy city, both economically and culturally. The second, to be held in Wellington, will focus on cities’ sustainability and their relationship with the natural environment. The final discussion in the series, to be held in Christchurch as part of the WORD Festival, will focus on how to build a collective spirit in our cities in an age of rising inequalities.
President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Professor Richard Bedford, says “UN projections indicate that by 2050 two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban places. In New Zealand 86% of us are already town and city dwellers. We need to continue exploring how to realise the full potential of urban life in much bigger cities in the future in an integrated and sustainable way.”
Ambassador of France in New Zealand, Mrs Florence Jeanblanc-Risler, says “Providing a more sustainable, inclusive and healthier environment is vital for our cities and the development of our societies. These high-profile public discussions will explore how through urban transformation the different actors have embraced this challenge, where France has developed a real world-class savoir-faire illustrated through many successful public-private collaborations and best practices. We look forward to welcoming the public and professionals alike to what promises to be an exciting exchange of views.”
The panel discussions are a joint initiative between the Royal Society of New Zealand, the Embassy of France in New Zealand and RNZ, which follows the success of its 2015 series “The Age of Resilience”.
More information about the lectures and the experts, including how to book tickets, can be found on the Royal Society of New Zealand’s website.