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Streets, Cities and People

Members of the Tawa Business Group ventured out of the suburbs, along the bustling 5pm-busyness of Courtney Place and into the beauty of the St James Theatre to hear a talk hosted by Toby Manhire about Streets, Cities and People with Janette Sadik-Khan and Salvador Rueda.

International and Inspirational Speakers

Janette (Transport Principal, Bloomberg Associates and Chair of Global Designing Cities Initiative) was instrumental in the rapid rollout of bike lanes and pedestrian improvements in downtown New York city, which freed up the streets and made it easier to get around for everyone moving into and through the city. 

Salvador Rueda (Director of Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona) is an Urban Ecologist specialising in the analysis and planning of complex urban systems. Using Barcelona as an example, Salvador spoke about Superblocks, which allow for rationalising mobility, enhancing public space, increasing biodiversity, and improving human health and well-being. By planting many thousands of trees within Barcelona, they have experienced cooler temperatures on streets with trees compared to those without.

Both Janette and Salvador are keen to see Wellington embrace many aspects of their work and with Wellington recently being one of the first-ever winners of the Bloomberg Initiatives for Cycling Infrastructure, the funds associated with that win go part way to provide cycling infrastructure and changes in urban design. 

What does all this mean for Tawa?

While we appreciate that Tawa is very different from Wellington city centre, this gives us a great opportunity to fully understand who comes to Tawa, when and why they do so and how they get here. As Salvador alluded to, when we change the focus from pedestrians to citizens, we may come to realise that we all have the same goal of providing a centre that is prosperous, safe, accessible and inclusive. There are just different ways of getting there.

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