Mayor Len Brown opened the launch and applauded the coming together of the City’s planning team who developed Auckland’s first Unitary Plan and looked forward to welcoming the international planning fraternity to Auckland in 2015.
Career planner and professional director Adrienne Young Cooper embraced Back to the Future’s Technology theme sharing personal experiences on her inspiring journey to become deputy chair of Housing New Zealand, Waterfront Auckland and Chair of Hobsonville Land Company, recognised as some of New Zealand’s most innovative planning projects.
Sensor technology was a theme echoed by Kiwi innovation expert Roger Dennis, who described Sensing City as the country’s largest ever infrastructure project, extolling the virtues of real time data, its impact on the Web of Things and potential to transform the way citizens live and engage with the environment around them.
“As the heart of Christchurch is rebuilt we are integrating a network of digital sensors into every piece of physical infrastructure. The sensors will be able to measure anything in real time – traffic flow, water and air pollution, resource use – and we will be able to understand how a city works using real time data,” he says.
Author James Hurman ‘AK2: The Coming of Age - A New Auckland’ challenged Auckland planners to take note of his research which sought to identify what characterised “New Aucklanders.”
Host Russell Brown brought presenters together for an impromptu panel conversation teasing out the challenges facing planners in this radical age of new technology, creating a sense of anticipation for the line up of international speakers attending the conference in April 2015.
NZPI Chair Bryce Julyan summed up the evening noting the buzz of the launch is indicative of the biggest New Zealand Planning Conference yet, potentially attracting more than 800 delegates nationally and internationally.
“Tonight is a taste of things to come and on that basis I encourage you all to get involved, participate and support the conference theme - Back to the Future.”
The Auckland based conference will challenge planners to reflect on lessons from the past and consider how they can use technology to help shape the future of urban environments for the communities they engage with.
The NZPI is extending an invitation to representatives of iwi, industry leaders, business managers, technical specialists, planners, allied professions, local government, environmental advocates, scientists, researchers, academics and tertiary students to attend Back to the Future 2015.