SESSION THEME | Values - landscapes, ocean and water


Turning Words into Actions in Our Urban Environments

Wednesday 1 April,  

Our urban environments are landscapes experiencing profound and rapid change.  Through the proposed carbon legislation due to be introduced to parliament in late 2019, our urban places will become increasingly important to us in Aotearoa New Zealand, as we either meet emissions targets set out in the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement and beyond, or undercook our commitments and responsibilities to the world we belong to.  History tells us that as a nation, we have never shied away from our global responsibilities.  However climate change is such a large topic, and it's difficult not to feel overwhelmed by the immense challenge that we face. I would like to address in this paper the ways that design professionals can translate the ideas and messages we get, into actions to inspire passion and ownership of the solutions. 

The professions of landscape architecture, planning and urban design connect, entwine and translate the skills and language of other professionals together, and to the public.  As design professionals, we can as a fundamental skill, communicate across different media platforms using graphics, words, vision, and knowledge of relationships, connections and values that people have with landscapes.  Can the language of landscape help people in our urban environments make bold and active choices around carbon reduction, and be a universal language of leadership in meeting our carbon obligations?  It can.  We need a clear language to support change. Everybody has the power to change our carbon future.

Presenter:  Kirstie Thorpe

Senior Landscape Architect, Stantec New Zealand

Kirstie leads the landscape architecture discipline at Stantec New Zealand, where she is part of the urban planning and environmental services team in Christchurch.  At Stantec she works on infrastructure projects from strategic management planning and feasibility studies, through to landscape and visual assessment and preparing landscape plans for statutory approval.  She specializes in bringing the human experience to both multidisciplinary and landscape led projects through design.


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Planning together for a better New Zealand.

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