Auckland recently joined C40 which is a group of over 80 cities worldwide working to address climate change.

C40 City Map

The executive director of C40 was recently in Auckland and while he was here held an Auckland Conversations talk. During his talk a lot of the focus was on transport and the huge role it has on shaping cities, making them more liveable and of course it’s impact on the climate. If you weren’t at the event or haven’t seen the video it is worth a watch.

It’s also worth highlighting the next Auckland Conversation which looks good is just 10 days away on April 7.

The Value of Well-Designed Cities
7 April 2016, doors open at 5pm.

In association with the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) Annual Conference. (link is external)

Joe Minicozzi, Principal of Urban3 (link is external), pioneers in geo-spatial representation of economic productivity. This helps communities make better decisions through the understanding of data and design. Joe’s work has prompted a paradigm shift in understanding the economic potency of well designed cities.

Joe’s multidisciplinary expertise with city planning in the public and private sectors, as well as his ingenuity with real estate finance, prompted the development of his award-winning analytical tools that have been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Planetizen, Planning, and New Urban News.

Urban3’s research illustrates the benefits of urban density, heritage conservation and mixed-use developments. These have an economic impact that lead to creating sustainable and vibrant cities.

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  1. Auckland is fortunate that there isn’t a “pathetic cities” key on that map. Our goal is clearly inadequate (40% reduction by 2040). Setting a goal that is too little is wrong on so many levels- lack of understanding the problem, lack of urgency, lack of self-belief (in our ability to lead and to act), lack of vision, willingness to let our children deal with the mitigation costs brought on by our inaction, lack of neighborliness…
    But hey, we joined a group.

    1. The glass half full perspective is that C40 is at least heading in the right direction.

      That said, -40% of 1990 emissions by 2040* is nowhere near enough given (a) the overriding imperative to be essentially carbon zero only 10 years later (conservatively) and (b) our profligate starting position, in carbon emissions terms, at 3-4x leading European cities (and as Mark Watts points out, 10-20x African cities like Addis Ababa). And consider that that starting position is in a context with 80% renewable electricity. That’s where Auckland is today.

      So a glass half empty perspective is understandable. Especially given the current epic double-down fail of sprawl.

      In terms of immediate actions Mark’s contention that cycling is the best one given the relative space on our roads (compared with London or Copenhagen etc) is compelling.

      *This is the Auckland 2040 challenge I want to hear put to our mayoral candidates: never mind all the hot air about three storey apartments; how will you demonstrate leadership to deliver and exceed this target?

      1. NCD is right, A reduction of only 40% with 25 years to get there is lazy and irresponsible. We’re much wealthier than a lot of cities and have more access to renewable energy than most. Somehow AT needs to get on message that climate change is a serious problem, and that they are Aucklands biggest player in responding to it.

    2. electric cars will help? I don’t know enough about them. Is there predicted to be a big shift to them in the next 10-15 years?
      Could the council look at giving discounted parking for electric cars, and more expensive parking for non-electric cars?

  2. Who joined us up to this crap??

    The people of Auckland have not given anyone a mandate to join us up.

    Let me guess, the mayor and/or council staff get to attend an annual junket as a result?

    1. Let me guess? Conspiracy theory that climate change doesn’t exist? Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai. Alot of foolish cities in this group. Maybe we should do a referendum if we should join?

    2. Someone who wants a trip joined us up. My bet is it will result in some long distance air travel for a few Councillors and Council staff members and not much else.

      1. It’s not necessarily a junket. Climate change is urgent and dangerous, and our city needs to been gaged and to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

        1. It’s a junket. It was started by Red Ken and the people involved have kept it going since as they are doing rather well out of it. A gravy train if ever there was one.

          1. The C40 mayors (of whatever political persuasion: Ken has of course been succeeded by Boris) are obligated to act.

            The Prime Minister’s Office sets out the climate change challenge thus: “There is a remote possibility that if we did little or nothing then the temperature would not rise to unacceptable levels. But we cannot gamble the future of the whole planet on the low probability of that occurring… This is a global challenge, and a country like ours that aspires to be respected as a leading innovative nation cannot afford to appear to be not fully involved. Indeed, such a perception would compromise our reputation and potential markets.”

            Mark Watts quotes Benjamin Barber, “What if Mayors Ruled the World” on the basis that they, more than nation states, are in a position to take practical steps in investing in the necessary changes. Cities, after all, are responsible for 70% of GHG emissions globally. If not mayors, incidentally, the other choice we have is corporations.

            Not only am I happy for “Red Len” or whoever our next mayor is to go to Paris COP21 and so on and to attend C40 meetings, and for appropriate officials and professionals to do the same: I expect and demand them to do so. That way, they, and we, collectively can be held to account. Anything less is negligent, and we are deluded if we think that is even an option.

    3. If you watch the video they say you can’t just join up unless your city has over 3m people, for city Auckland’s size you have to be nominated by other cities which obviously we were. Len went to the Paris talks earlier in the year to be accepted into C40 but that was paid for by Bloomberg.

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