shaping our urban legacy

Urbanism NZ 2023 Conference

Urbanism Aotearoa is a conference about making connections to bring about change. Our conversation started in 2018 and with a pandemic enforced hiatus, we were very pleased to be able to continue this in 2023.

Our focus was on the complex systems with interconnected issues directed by different stakeholders but seeking the same outcome - good urban environments for all people. As such, the conference was put together by a collective of organisations and urban professionals to stimulate discussion.

Urbanism Aotearoa 2023 provided a diversity of conversations on our urban environments and their delivery including the evolution of urban design in Aotearoa through mātauranga Māori; climate responsiveness; designing for a healthy urban environment; working better with communities; infrastructure requirements and connectivity; land use and transportation.


What's next?

We invite expressions of interest to attend and support the Urbanism Aotearoa Next Steps Workshop.  Using the outcomes of the 2023 Conference, this workshop plans to delve deeper into the 'how'. It's not just about discussing ideas; it's about rolling up our sleeves and working collaboratively with industry peers to determine a concrete plan for our urban legacy.  To ensure the planning meets your needs we welcome your input.  

The following expression of interest form asks 3 simple questions - it will take less than a minute to complete.  Are you interested in taking the next steps and joining the movement that is shaping the future of urbanism in Aotearoa?  


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UNZ over for 2023 but there’s more to come!  Sign up for the latest updates and news... 

"Shaping our urban legacy" 

Published 30 May 2023 - Architecture Now

Haley Hooper, design writer and Principal Urban Designer at WSP, shares some insights and ideas from the recent Urbanism NZ conference held on 27-28 April in Tāmaki Makaurau.


Who should attend?

The conference will attract attendees from a variety of backgrounds including: 

Urban DesignersSocial Planners 
Urban PlannersAcademics
Civil EngineersEconomic Commentators
Landscape ArchitectsFinancial Advisors
Property DevelopersAdvisory and Provider Agencies

2023 Headline Speakers

This conference series joins up the critical conversations about what makes good urban environments for all people through drawing upon the knowledge of global pioneers, international influences, speakers with the consideration of the sustainability of Indigenous cultures, disruptive and emerging thought leaders, key Aotearoa urban practitioners, and leadership decision makers. Click below to find out more about our headline speakers.


    Kāinga Ora is creating sustainable, inclusive and thriving communities throughout Aotearoa. Our construction and urban development projects enable improved infrastructure, more connected neighbourhoods, open spaces and access to amenities.

We take a place-based approach to create solutions that meet the diverse needs and aspirations of each community in which we operate. Great communities reflect what is special about a place and its people. Great communities are also sustainable. We operate in a manner that recognises environmental values as well as the need to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

As New Zealand’s largest housing provider, Kāinga Ora has a government mandate to lead change. The scale of our build and urban development programmes means Kāinga Ora is well-placed to influence and demonstrate best practice through sustainable, inclusive urbanism.

We are proud to support the Urbanism Conference 2023 as we see it as an opportunity to support innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing throughout the sector.

         Waka Kotahi is thrilled to be supporting the Urbanism NZ Conference.  The land transport system has a key role to play in shaping the towns and cities of Aotearoa, and we are eager to play our part in supporting safer, healthier and more attractive places for people to live, work, play and move around.  

It is vital that the planning and design of urban areas, through land use, transport infrastructure and other services is integrated in order to maximise the potential of urban areas across the country.   The key drivers of our urban future, from climate change to shifting demographics and emerging technology, are some of the most significant issues that our towns and cities face.  

The opportunity to communicate ideas, lessons and visions for a shared future at Urbanism NZ is vitally important to identify what is needed to make sure our urban areas meet future needs.


UDF Aotearoa is proud to be a founding industry partner and supporter of Urbanism NZ Conference 2023. Approximately 87% of our population, here in Aotearoa, live in urban areas. Our population is growing and that growth places pressures on our infrastructure and resources. Our major towns and cities are faced with numerous challenges on how to accommodate growth while still ensuring we create places that are safe, attractive, equitable, inclusive, vibrant and conducive to health and wellbeing for our present and future generations.

In planning for, designing, building and governing our towns and cities we must first and foremost acknowledge mana whenua, and we must also provide for the melting pot we have become. UDF Aotearoa recognises that to create great quality urban places needs more than good urban design; we must draw from and bring together a range of skills and experiences. Urbanism NZ offers the opportunity to nurture the sharing of knowledge, skills, experience and collaborative working needed to deliver great urban environments for all of our people.