Drivers of Urban Change

Lisa Early, Philippa Howden-Chapman, Marie Russell (editors)


What drives urban change in New Zealand? How can our cities and towns provide a desirable, prosperous, socially inclusive, healthy and environmentally sustainable way of life?


This report brings together the views of key decision-makers and cutting-edge research, exploring the pressing issues of compact vs dispersed urban development, infrastructure renewal, resilient transport patterns and healthy, affordable housing. The authors draw upon interviews with over 90 stakeholders in the policy-making process and a nationwide opinion poll to delve behind the scenes into questions about planning, development, governance and public engagement, in the context of social demographic and economic trends and environmental challenges.

Other books in the Sustainable Cities series:

About the author

Ralph Chapman directs the graduate programme in Environmental Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. An environmental economist, he has worked on a range of climate change-related policy issues — housing, energy, transport and urban design. He has also worked with the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, the New Zealand Treasury, the British Treasury in Whitehall, the OECD, in the Beehive, and as a negotiator for New Zealand of the Kyoto Protocol. Ralph has a bachelor’s in engineering, a master’s in public policy and a PhD in economics.

Lisa Early is development manager for the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities and the Resilient Urban Futures research programme, and is based in Wellington at the University of Otago. She has research interests in history and environmental studies, and has previously worked at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dunedin City Council, the Victoria and Albert Museum and The National Archives of the UK. Lisa also edited, with Sarah Bierre and Philippa Howden-Chapman, a book on housing in New Zealand called Homes People Can Afford, Steele Roberts, 2013.

Geoff Fougere is a sociologist and senior lecturer in the Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington. His research interests focus on politics and policy in relation to health, cities, housing and other issues. He has served on a number of ministerial and other public advisory committees on health policy and is a former chair of the Public Health Advisory Committee (National Health Committee).

Anna Hamer-Adams is an assistant research fellow for the Resilient Urban Futures programme at the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities. She has an academic background in economics and political science and graduated with first class honours in economics from Victoria University of Wellington. Her previous roles include researcher at the Council for International Development, acting as the ‘Youth MP’ for Palmerston North, and working on projects relating to the United Nations and the welfare state. She has a strong interest in the closely entwined topics of economic development and the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.

Philippa Howden-Chapman is a professor of public health at the University of Otago, Wellington, where she teaches public policy. She is director of He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme and the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities. She has conducted a number of randomised community housing trials in partnership with local communities, which have had a major influence on housing, health and energy policy. She has a strong interest in reducing inequalities in the determinants of health and has published widely in this area, receiving awards for her work. She is currently the chair of the WHO Housing and Health Guidelines Development Group and was a member of the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty.

Jenny Ombler is an assistant research fellow for the Resilient Urban Futures programme at the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities, and is concurrently working towards an MA in international relations at Victoria University of Wellington. She has an academic background in international relations, art history and Asian studies, and graduated with first class honours in international relations. She has also worked as executive assistant to Dr Kennedy Graham MP in the New Zealand Parliament. Her research interests include critical theory, social justice and climate change.

Nick Preval is a research fellow for the Resilient Urban Futures programme at the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities. His current research looks at costs, benefits and risks of compact versus dispersed urban development. Nick has worked on previous projects at the Centre for Sustainable Cities, including defining a local government research agenda and a survey of home location preference. He has an environmental studies background, and his PhD and Masters theses were primarily focused on quantifying the costs and benefits resulting from insulation and heating interventions.

Ed Randal is a research fellow with the Resilient Urban Futures programme at the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities. He has worked on a number of research strands, including drivers of urban change, compact versus dispersed urban development, active transport in cities and integrated modelling of land-use, transport and environment. Ed completed a Master in Environmental Studies at Victoria University of Wellington on the effective promotion of cycling for transport, assessing the potential for recreational cycling to be used as a gateway into commuter cycling.

Marie Russell is a research fellow for the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities at the University of Otago, Wellington. Public transport and how passengers use their travel time on buses and trains were the focus of Marie’s PhD research, completed in 2012. Other research interests include tobacco policy, social research methodology and children’s issues. Marie has previously worked as a librarian, a mother at home, and an independent documentary producer for Radio New Zealand. More recently, Marie began making documentary films, her first effort being 2009’s ‘A place to stay’, exploring the relation between urban design and a sense of community.

Guy Salmon is executive director of the Ecologic Foundation. He is an environmental policy specialist, working in policy advice, consulting and research roles. His comparative study of environmental decision-making in New Zealand and the Nordic countries (with collaborators at the University of Helsinki) highlighted the power of collaborative governance for integrating eco­no­mic and environmental outcomes, and led to Guy championing the adoption of collaborative governance practices in New Zealand. He has worked as a convenor, project manager, adviser and participant in a range of consensus-building policy processes. He has been a member of the Advisory Group on Green Growth and of the Land and Water Forum. Guy’s policy research work embraces climate change, water management, urban issues and collaborative governance.

Additional information

Dimensions 176 × 250 mm

, ,