SESSION THEME | Visions - Technology


Are planners using 19th century governance, and 20th century tools, to tackle 21st century problems?

Wednesday 1 April,  

Globally, digital disruption is creating a significant change in the way we work and how we understand the world. Made possible by the emergence of digital systems, networked communications, machine learning and large-scale data analysis, this digital revolution (commonly referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is increasing the integration of technologies in our daily lives.

At the heart of the digital economy lies the free flow of data, the collation of data sets and smart analytics. This information is opening up new ways of understanding people, places, and human interactions with the natural environment. Consequently, it presents significant opportunities and challenges in the way that Planners work, what outputs are produced, and ultimately how Planners will add value in a digitised future.

The planning system that underpins what Planners do in New Zealand, has been largely unchanged by digital transformation, presenting a risk in the future of the profession. At a global level, Catapult - Future Cities (2018) in their Digitising the Planning System report goes so far to suggest that "Planners are using 19th century governance, and 20th century tools, to tackle 21st century problems". There are exciting initiatives underway in the profession at a global level that could be readily applied in New Zealand.  The question is: are we collaborating broadly enough to capture, understand and act on these initiatives?

Drawing on existing overseas partnerships and scholarship, this paper challenges the pace at which Planners need to embrace change, in order to remain relevant in our rapidly evolving future.

Presenters:  Keeley Clayton & Manea Sweeney

Planner, Tonkin & Taylor Ltd

Keeley Clayton is a Planner that works at the intersection of technology and planning, drawing on her University experience in planning, GIS and understanding how systems and processes can improve the way we work. During her time at T+T, she has worked across a range of public and private sector projects including land and housing developments, and large infrastructure projects. She is also a young leader within T+T who is advancing innovative solutions to enhance projects.

Technical Director – Planning Horizon Planning Manager, Tonkin & Taylor Ltd

Manea has extensive experience as an environmental advisory specialist and manager. Her work spans; planning and delivery of multidisciplinary infrastructural and public works projects, placemaking projects and research on emerging industry trends and disruptions across New Zealand and internationally. Her collaborative style and her commitment to creating high performing team’s means that she has held executive leadership positions in disaster recovery and resilience, community engagement, and environmental management. Manea often works in cross-cultural contexts, with and for indigenous peoples, and is of Ngāpuhi, Te Atiawa and English decent.

Manea is currently advancing IoT, going digital, and innovation within T+T and the T+T planning team. Part of the Xennial micro-generation, she grew up with an analogue childhood and a digital adulthood – making her fascinated with how technology is quickly changing and shaping our lives.


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