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2019 RSA Australasia Conference Special Sessions

Urban and Rural Wellbeing, First Nations Economies and Global Value Chains for Regional Sustainability

Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development: Challenges and Opportunities

Session organiser(s)

Stefanie Dühr, University of South Australia, Australia: Melissa Nursey-Bray, University of Adelaide, Australia:

The UN’s sustainable development goals and the global agenda on climate protection have prompted many countries to review their national strategies and approaches over the past years, yet progress towards more sustainable land use patterns and climate proof developments remains slow. For example, greenfield development and urban sprawl are still a major concern in many countries, and the energy transition towards renewable sources has been slow in many regions. The reliance on the private car over more sustainable modes of transportation is still considerable, and continues to fuel concerns over pollution, air quality and health issues as a result of congestion in urban regions.  Recent reforms of spatial planning systems in many Western societies towards de-regulation and greater emphasis on economic development over public welfare goals raise additional questions over how sustainable spatial development and climate proof settlement patterns can be achieved. These tensions raise important questions about the future role of spatial planning in achieving sustainable development and in supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation.

For this session, we welcome papers exploring shifts in spatial planning systems and the effects of these on sustainable development and / or climate change goals at all levels of scale. Analyses of sustainable development or climate change transitions more broadly are welcome, as well as papers with a more specific focus on certain aspects of spatial planning in relation to sustainable development (such as on modal split, public / green spaces, energy production and consumption patterns, social equity, or environmental protection concerns). We also welcome papers discussing the possible deeper implications of the shifts in spatial planning and their underlying planning cultures, in relation to norms, rules and values of planners and society, and the effect such changes might have on achieving sustainability and climate change goals.

Submission guidelines

Please submit proposals for papers in the form of a 250-word abstract (text only) through the RSA conference portal. Proposals will be considered by the session organisers against the criteria of originality, interest and subject balance:

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Supporting Success in Regional Settlements

Closed Session for submissions but all delegates are welcome to attend as audience.

Session organiser(s)

Harvey C Perkins, People and Places, New Zealand

This session will outline and stimulate discussion about a research programme supported by the New Zealand National Science Challenge: Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities: Ko Ngā Wā Kāinga Hei Whakamāhorahora which is examining the lived and comparative experience of regional small-town New Zealand. Part of its mission is to interpret and support local efforts to make these places more attractive to live in, visit, work and do business. Identifying practical solutions for settlement regeneration success is a central goal of this mission-led research. The research team is examining the broad contexts of regional settlements, their trajectories and how residents are defining their situation and engaging in initiatives to improve their towns economically, socially, culturally and environmentally. We are examining what initiatives work best as tools for regeneration and supporting the creation of a community of practice – sharing approaches to settlement development – incorporating private, public and third-sector practitioners.

The programme has three elements and beside each below is listed the session speakers:

  1. Connecting across scales for success
    • Dr Arthur Grimes, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research
    • Jonathan Kilgour, University of Waikato
    • Emeritus Professor Harvey C Perkins, People and Places Ltd
    • Professor Deborah Levy, University of Auckland
  2. Harnessing the hinterland
    • Professor Etienne Nel, University of Otago
  3. The Oamaru regeneration initiative
    • Dr Nick Taylor, Nick Taylor and Associates

The National Science Challenge: Building Better Home Towns and Cities is presently seeking Phase II funding. A core part of Phase II is the Strategic Research Domain, “Thriving communities and regions | He Pā Harakeke” which addresses the questions; how can we support regions and communities to adapt and thrive? And, how can towns, cities, communities, and the regions in which they are located, deliver functional, hospitable, productive and protective homes, kāinga and neighbourhoods.”. This will be addressed in a further presentation:

  1. Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities – National Science Challenge: The future strategy
    • Ruth Berry, Director, BBHTC

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