News and Posts from our Team

That Christchurch is a tram and bicycle city seems to be a wrongheaded position - a fact-resistant bit of naivety. But it is certainly true that Christchurch was, until the…

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I Support Inter-Regional Passenger Rail I am very supportive - impatient even - for the return of inter-regional passenger travel. It is almost like New Zealand h…

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Electric Railcars running fast and frequently - made in Christchurch for New Zealand conditions - what a great idea. It would activate the existing rail network inter-regio…

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I'm not sure what it is about some politicians, but they seem to think that good news is bad news... or perhaps it's that good news is good news for them as it allows them …

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My neighbourhood will likely have a speed review in the near future. The community board is currently considering options before they make their request to the greater coun…

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As kids we're always told to eat our greens to boost our iron. And iron is good for us - our blood depends upon a sufficient supply of iron in order to produce the haemoglo…

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The Greater Auckland site has a good article on Auckland Transport's plan for carbon reduction - - Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway - or TERP. Although the focus…

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Back in November 2008 a roading consultancy proposed 'Staged Pedestrian Crossings' as a way to improve the way pedestrians cross streets. The aim was to perceived issues wi…

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I missed a few articles on the state of rail in Canterbury, so it is timely to review. Back in February 2022, Stuff ran a couple of articles - Push to look again at pass…

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I made a submission to the Infrastructure New Zealand consultation in October last year. I should have posted here too, but will post here now. It's been edited to make …

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Europe is doubling down on trains to connect the continent - a return to the grand days of the Orient Express... without the death and mayhem. CNN reports that - Europe …

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New Zealand houses are of poor quality, mainly old, cold, damp, and draughty. Newer homes are better, but they are still not built to standards accepted overseas. In large …

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The housing market in New Zealand is in crisis mode. The obvious problem is that the cost of housing is at record highs by many measures, and this is such common knowledge …

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Humans are really bad at understanding numbers, especially very large or very small ones. We just don't have the neural ability to intuitively get to grips to them... and s…

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I first heard about the Kermadec Islands when I was a kid reading adventure sailing books. I'd been given a book by Butler Graham who sailed on the Ngataki in the 1930s. Th…

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How can you not be optimistic? We live in interesting times of fantastic change and huge opportunity. Naysayers and grumps seem to always find things to complain about but …

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As I mentioned in the previous post, cars take up a lot os space and so the value of the money spent on other modes is discounted as they don't appear to loom so large... w…

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The Conversation posted a very useful article. So many times you hear naysayers spouting inaccuracies about cycleways. Many will never be convinced. They see empty cycleway…

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When two roads meet at an angle the intersection can get crazy wide. This is a problem for pedestrians trying to cross them. But the solution is quite simple as the feature…

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“Land is a finite resource and it’s so contested. We’ve got to house people, we’ve got to move people, grow food, produce goods, we’ve got to protect it and look after our …

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A recent study examines something we intuitively know - that safer cycle routes, between more locations, mean that children will cycle more often, and further. Read - Ch…

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Waka Kotahi have a chilling new advert playing on TV in support of its Road to Zero campaign. I dearly hope that it is effective in communicating the real cost of speeding …

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Christchurch used to be very well served by trains and trams. The first public railway was at Ferrymead serving freight and passengers landing at the Estuary into the city.…

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When a crash occurs on a road or street the reporting centres around what happened. A pedestrian was struck. A cyclist was killed. A car swerved... but there are real peopl…

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It is frustrating to know that up until the 1950s Christchurch had a mass transit network of trams running on electricity. Imagine an alternative universe where this system…

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I live in a 20 minute city. We're a 15-20 minute walk from the Christchurch CBD, less on a bike. We're 5 minutes from the local shops, and medical centre, and 20 minutes on…

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For the past few weeks I've been part of a team designing a Net-Zero Carbon Shophouse for the London Design Festival 2021. This has been a fascinating process involving …

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People use our cities in different ways, and one of the differences is that men more often than women drive to work. If there is one car in the family, the man is often the…

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For the last few months a consultation has been on-going on lower speeds in our neighbourhood - around the local Addington School. And last month it was finally approved. …

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The notion that there is a dichotomy that separates humans from nature is false, and it always has been. We are as part of nature as any animal, plant, fungus, or bacteria.…

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In 2020 I presented a concept for an Open Source approach to Prefabricated Modular Design - and the concept of an API or specified interfaces. It was more a thought-…

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Neighbourhoods that are friendly to children are generally those also conducive to adults - and perhaps would help us all stay younger by bringing out the child in all of u…

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Surely enabling children to thrive should be one of the prime goals of city managers. A city that is inimical to children is one that is failing the most vulnerable and s…

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Waka Kotahi have plans to widen Brougham Street - though to hear them you would not know it. Instead they are reallocating the existing space to create a safer road for all…

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I wonder - if someone lives in Rangiora or Rolleston - what do they tell people where they live when they are asked by people outside the region. Do they say "I'm from Roll…

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In the last blog post I mentioned the need for there to be a national deployment of light rail throughout New Zealand. A coordinated approach would build capacity, skills, …

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Light Rail in Auckland is a perennial discussion, but with little action to show for all the talk. Greater Auckland reports - Light Rail to Fill the Void - how in 2015 the…

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There are many consequences of sprawl - the unconstrained expansion of city limits into greenfield sites. The name itself suggests a lax and flabby urban form - the couch p…

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In the early 1990's Auckland hosted an architecture conference in the Aotea Centre. The keynote speaker was Fumihiko Maki who spoke about his Hillside Terrace - a developme…

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The reaction to COVID around the world has been mixed and varied, but one of the more interesting responses has been the way that cities are changing, not just because of g…

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COVID has made rapid changes to the way we use our cities. Lockdowns are the most obvious change, but even after lockdowns people are looking for ways to move around their …

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Christchurch has long had more affordable housing than other large cities in New Zealand. Or more to the point - the houses cost the same but the cost of the land is signif…

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So often commenters on cycleways and pedestrianisation schemes bemoan the impact on businesses. That shops need parking spaces outside them, and that removing car parking s…

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Colombia has a reputation that it ill-deserves. Popular media portrays it as a dysfunctional narco-state that threatens the West with drugs and gangsters. Miami Vice has a …

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On several measures the CBD in Christchurch, New Zealand, is recovering from the impact of the 2011 Earthquake. Statistics New Zealand reports on the major cities and notes…

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The Phoenix area is the fifth largest in the United States 4.8 million - and it is understandable why - it has an enviable lifestyle and climate. Except it is a crazy place…

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The United Kingdom is set to be the driest May on record, with huge demand combined with low rainfall levels. As the climate continues to shift business as usual is not eno…

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COVID has caused huge disruptions to our lives, but one consequence of lockdowns has revealed just how impactful our lives are on the environment. CNN reports that the H…

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Images are potent communicators, so it is important to understand the provenance of photos, graphs, and charts, in order to understand the true context. Are they 'fake' or …

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Storage is really the central energy problem our civilisation has. The fossil fuels that we consume release energy that has been stored for millions or years. Batteries are…

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Formula E is frivolous and unnecessary as much entertainment is - but will it help change minds of petrol heads towards more general purpose EVs? CNN reports on a new fr…

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If we had unlimited energy supplies without environmental impact what would we use that energy for? A good chance we'd use it to create fresh potable water, and to treat ef…

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In the recent blog post I documented Costa Rica's successes with reforestation, but now it seems that although this remains true - these forests may not last long enough to…

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Costa Rica is an amazing place. A stable democratic middle income country in a region where other countries struggle to match its example. Now it is notable for somethin…

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There is much talk on reducing our emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere - but we're already a long way from where we need our air to be. Somehow, somewhen, we ne…

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I love concrete as a material - you can do some truly amazing things with it - Tadao Ando's buildings, often odes to concrete, remain an inspiration to me. But it has huge …

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Wood has always been one of those materials that you cut away at to reveal the item within - just as Michelangelo envisaged with his marble sculptures. But now a way has be…

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Blue Planet is sequestering carbon in concrete by creating artificial limestone from carbon captured from smoke stacks and other sources of carbon dioxide. Carbon Dioxid…

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Forbes has an insightful response and call to action in response to a report by University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute. The paper outlines how renewables have a…

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The image above shows where the planet has becoming more green, and those areas that are losing ground cover. Where there is little change the colour is a dull beige or lig…

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Miami sits upon the huge Biscayne Aquifer formed from porous limestone that both stores and purifies the cities drinking water. But it is incredibly fragile from both human…

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Holmene located south of Denmark's capital of Copenhagen is the site of a proposed green development project centred around a waste to energy plant able to generate up to 2…

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New highly efficient solar photovoltaic cells developed by ASU are a game changer that may bring down the cost of solar energy even further. With efficiency of the electric…

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As mentioned in our post on Microgrids battery powered back-ups for solar photo voltaics is a rapidly emerging technology. Now Greece and Tesla are in talks to bring ele…

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The arrival on the scene of cheap Zinc Air batteries is a game changer. With lithium-ion batteries the most expensive part of battery storage, be it for cars or grid storag…

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Our Solid State City project will be represented at IoT Asia in March 2019. David Ivory will chair a panel discussion on Architecture and Urbanism and how the Internet of T…

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Upcycling usually refers to the creative re-use of normally waster materials such as plastics and metals. However upcycling can also refer to the treatment of water from wa…

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