Visiting expert to UC pleads for greener ChCh

07 August 2013

A visiting expert at UC will give a public lecture on campus next month about the potential for Christchurch to rebuild greener, including building a light rail system.

Visiting expert to UC pleads for greener ChCh

A visiting expert at the University of Canterbury will give a public lecture on campus next month about the potential for Christchurch to rebuild greener, including building a light rail system.

Peter Newman, Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University in Perth, believes Christchurch has a golden opportunity to rebuild smarter, greener and more in line with the environment.

Professor Newman is on the board of Infrastructure Australia and has won awards for his contribution to the science and practice of town planning in Australia.

"It’s time for some serious hope about our planet. We have heard so much about the destruction, and degradation. It’s time to hear about the renewal, regeneration and rebuilding. Christchurch has this opportunity.

"As an activist on rebuilding the train system in Perth, as an academic who studies sustainability trends and as a part of the UN's IPCC system, I have found so many opportunities to be hopeful, rather than despairing about the future. 

"One of the reasons for coming to Christchurch was that I have always found this a very hopeful place with a strong civil society committed to sustainability. I have been here 12 times, mostly discussing light rail. 

"The stories of hope since the time of the earthquakes have only confirmed this for me. I am also here to make a film about some of these stories, together with fourth year UC geography students.

"With some colleagues from the US and Australia we will begin some collaborative research with UC and the planning agencies that can assist with the next phase of Christchurch's growth.

"The project is called Greening the Greyfields and is about new tools for planners that help them engage better with communities and to enjoy winter in Christchurch and its environs. I will be making a plea to keep the light rail on the agenda.

"The film will be made on 15, 16, and 17 August with Professor Tim Beatley and will involve discussions on green innovations in Christchurch.

"Professor Beatley is a well-known American academic who has written 16 books and has made several films. We look forward to the opportunity to help portray a positive image of the Christchurch renaissance."

Professor Newman is an Erskine visitor to UC. The Erskine fellowship programme was established in 1963 following a generous bequest by former distinguished UC student John Erskine.

 

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz