In exciting new news for Auckland, an emerging new group called Women in Urbanism has been formed. We are passionate about cities and ensuring they meet the needs of women as well as our most vulnerable.

We have two major aims

1. Encouraging more women to consider careers in Urbanism such as transport planning.

2. Encouraging quality Urban Design outcomes that meet the needs of women and our most vulnerable people.

We hosted our first successful event in June, with a high turnout. The Women in Urbanism Facebook group now has over 187 members, and the Twitter account started last week already has over 143 followers. You can join the Facebook group here, and follow us on Twitter here.

Our next event is a conversation with Julie Anne Genter, who will focus on her career and how better urban outcomes for women can benefit all New Zealanders. The event is set for July 20th, and is sponsored by Boffa Miskell and MRCagney.

This is a limited space event so please register here.

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  1. Well done. Engineering and property development is still heavily male dominated – urban planning less so perhaps – so we need the female voice to be heard!

    1. So you believe men will not listen to women when discussing urban planning? Either women are weaker or men far more misogynist than they were when I was young.
      Judging by this site women speak clearly, sensibly and forcibly.

      1. I think any industry that is not diverse can be dominated by institutional thinking. It is not just about listening to others but also about ensuring you approach with an open and enquiring mind in the first place.

        1. The definition of diverse is “showing a great deal of variety; very different” and sometimes there is more in a pair of twins than you get in an institution.
          Are you certain that an industry cannot be both diverse and yet remain trapped by institutional thinking?

        2. I think it’s likely that an industry that is not diverse is more likely to be trapped by institutional thinking.

  2. Here’s a question that I hope you don’t mind my asking, given that the post is a (worthwhile) event ad and probably won’t have many comments.

    Harriet, or anyone else who works with stormwater data: I’m having difficulty finding the council stormwater pipe data for Pt Chevalier. I have QGIS and have downloaded the stormwater data from both Auckland Open Data and from GeoMaps. (I’ve also looked at HackAkl but they don’t have anything additional.)

    The data doesn’t make sense to me as there’s no way for lots of house roof stormwater pipes to connect to the pipes shown – some streets just don’t have pipes. It looks to me like the new pipes put in in 2005 in separating the wastewater and stormwater systems haven’t been digitised.

    Can anyone:

    1/ Let me know if there Is another source of information I’m missing?
    2/ Confirm that the separation information hasn’t been added to the database?

    I would ask Council but they seem to be busy at the moment.

    Thanks, Heidi

    1. Heidi, a boundary change on my property in Birkdale built in 1965 meant the stormwater had to be checked. Mine descends from the gutter to a buried scoria sink under the front lawn. There may be a better technical word. I doubt it would be approved today but it remains legal.
      They did find the wastewater manhole was about 2 metres away from where it was shown on the GIS viewer so there can be errors in the original manual drawings or their transcription to the map.

      1. Yes I guess the houses could all be discharging to sumps. Good if they are. But I’d be surprised there was no future-proofing for further development when they separated the waste water and storm water. Thanks.

        1. welcome to the world of brownfield/infill development. This is where the all of the intensive urbanist theories all get thrown out of the window and you realise how difficult and expensive the council has made it to anything

          Existing use rights will be OK for now but as soon as you try to redevelop or sub-divide you will need comply with the new rules. you might be lucky and find soakage but you will still need to provide large chambers.

          Note that most, if not all, PRIVATE drainage isn’t shown on the GIS. You will need to refer to your property file and/or LIM for that, if the records were kept.

        2. Yes, indeed. If the infrastructure as shown is correct, there’s no room for development. I’m not even sure how it’s coping now, unless there are a whole lot more soakage chambers than I’m aware of – and I don’t see raingardens or bioswales anywhere.

          I’m hoping that the infrastructre as shown is not correct. Surely this is the case, when the records show, for example, the supermarket carpark having a pipe leading from it north along Huia Rd, and then crossing the road and just stopping. There wouldn’t be a soakage chamber at that point; not to cope with that level of runoff.

          Hopefully there’s just another data set somewhere that I’m missing. But if the data set just doesn’t exist, that’s not exactly easy for development purposes either. I’ve put in a query to Council – hopefully someone there will set me straight.

        3. Heidi, a lot of central Auckland relies on discharge to groundwater (the fractured volcanic basalt). Wastewater goes to the old Combined Sewer network. Some separation of that is possible where trenching is affordable. The separation is not complete, and sometimes the SW pipes have to connect into main Combined sewer, until further separation is done.
          Sometimes, private lots discharge to the road at kerb outlets. these require on-site detention, otherwise more and more discharge to the road will overload road drainage. And in those areas where the roads only have soakage boreholes to discharge to, more run-off from private land simply cannot be accepted.
          Yes, this is a big problem for redevelopment creating more impervious area, but detention and rainwater harvesting can mitigate these problems. did we ever think that growth would be easy?

        4. Thanks Streetguy, You’re right. Turns out Pt Chev’s separation isn’t complete – a homeowner whose street only has partial stormwater pipes shown on the plan explained that where a fall to the sea couldn’t be achieved, the combined system was retained. I hadn’t even thought of that! It’s good they separated what they could. And I suppose once the easier, cheaper separations are done, it’s going to get more and more expensive.

          I’ve good experience with building deep soil from a clay base to take roof and driveway runoff, so I hope Auckland is not just relying on groundwater recharge happening in volcanic areas.

        5. Incidentally, I’ve been very impressed with the service today from the GIS people at Council.

  3. Good stuff. At a recent development meeting I attended for a big greenfield development there were 20 people from numerous disciplines. One (!) was female, and she was also the most junior. It was rather worrying – and that crowd was otherwise actually a pretty progressive bunch of people… a lot of change needed.

  4. I like that the event image shows Julie on her way back from a cheeky Quax to buy exactly three bananas

    1. OK, I ended up having to google Quax to understand. (I thought there was some reference to some meeting Julie-Ann must have had with the Councillor!) Glad I did, because my husband and I Quax all the time, so I really should have known the word. I think in the image there’s something under the bananas. Chocolate or bikkies or a packet of muesli.

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