research – New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities

By: Sustainable Cities  06-Dec-2011

The Asia-Pacific region is substantially urban, 45% of the population now resides in urban areas. Urbanization is increasing rapidly, with more than 40 million people being added each year. Moreover, 50% of these people are below 25 years of age.

The region faces the double burden of existing infectious diseases and the emerging life style diseases associated with rising incomes. The promise of greater opportunities in cities is accompanied by changing aspirations of people. Policy makers need to take into account the growing material aspirations of the people while planning developmental activities with improved environmental safe guards. Scientists have an important role in the development of new knowledge to inform this decision making. Total wellbeing involves complex interactions of multiple determinants, and systems approach can improve understanding of the interplay between these determinants and suggest practical approaches. Countries in this region range from developed (e.g. Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea), to emerging economies (e.g. China, India) to low income nations. The region also has diverse governance systems varying from monarchies, socialist regimes and democracies.

Combining this with differing expertise for undertaking complex analysis, we see that the approach to understanding the complex interactions involved in total wellbeing should vary throughout the region.

Acknowledging the diversity in expertise and data availability between countries, this plan strives for feasible and implementable approaches that could be initiated without delay. Capacity building would be developed around a major activity in the region where policy makers, civil society, scientists, administrators and people from informal sectors need to interact and understand the strength and weaknesses of each individual approach, and to see how that understanding improves through a systems process. Data collection and access will be essential for this analysis. A fast growing city and an institution will be identified in the first phase to initiate the systems thinking process.

New methodologies need to be sensitive and inclusive to be persuasive and successful. Both the people and the policy makers need to be brought on board early to translate systems research into action. The plan includes a number of case studies to illustrate the added value of systems approaches. The issues addressed in these case studies include transport, waste management, health consequences of informal settlements, and growth of new cities in the region.

Concurrently efforts should be initiated to identify international and regional collaborating centres that can execute a systems analysis approach and mathematical modelling on any of the issues identified above. It is anticipated that available funding will increase as the new paradigm is more widely recognised.


Other products and services from Sustainable Cities

06-Dec-2011

media – New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities

It includes the latest research and thinking on sustainable transport and our built environment as well as experiences from councils trying to create more sustainable cities. On Tuesday Evening 16th February 2010 we launched “Sizing up the City; Urban Form and Transport”. The book collects and expands on papers presented at the February 2009 Summer School.


06-Dec-2011

podcasts – New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities

Eion Scott, Eco Design Advisor in the Building Policy unit of Auckland Council, has a background in communications and social marketing, is currently chairman of the Sustainable Living Education Trust and is actively involved with efforts to green the Christchurch rebuild.


06-Dec-2011

housing & building – New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities

She currently looks after the Resilience, Recovery, Infrastructure and Welfare programmes at the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management.Sandra James is a Community Development Officer, and now manager of Waimakariri District Council’s earthquake Recovery Assistance Centre.With more speakers to be confirmed…To register visit.


06-Dec-2011

transport – New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities

Angus Hulme-Moir has recently completed his master’s degree in environmental studies at Victoria University on the topic of the role that parking policy can play in achieving sustainable transport goals. She has worked with cities in New Zealand and Australia, and presented the new parking paradigm at numerous conferences, seminars and events. Philip King, Hamilton City Council, Access Hamilton Coordinator.