Monthly Archives: December 2010

What if?

### Dec 30, 2010
Polar Bears Hate Being Spied on by Hidden Cameras
By Michael Zhang
For the BBC documentary “Polar Bear: Spy on the Ice”, special hidden cameras were designed with unobtrusiveness and durability in mind. They didn’t succeed very well in either, as the polar bears quickly detected and destroyed the pesky cameras intruding on their privacy. What they did accomplish was capturing footage showing what it looks like to have polar bears perform CPR on you. Luckily they didn’t have real photographers crouching in those domes!

(via Gizmodo)


We trust Dunedin City Council’s use of social media will convey as much curiosity and success in 2011. Happy New Year!!!

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Jim Harland

Dunedin’s rates, compared with other centres, were still at the lower end of the spectrum, and were only 3.3% of household income for a median residential household in the city.

### ODT Online Wed, 29 Dec 2010
Jim Harland: a man of myriad ventures
By David Loughrey
After more than a decade at the helm of the Dunedin City Council, chief executive Jim Harland is about to move on. He tells council reporter David Loughrey the projects completed in that time have made the city a better place, despite their cost.
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Related Post and Comments:
29.10.10 DCC Chief Executive resigns – timing is everything!

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Dunedin company iVisit develops free iPhone app

Mobile tourism information service

### ODT Online Wed, 29 Dec 2010
Are phones the new guidebooks?
By Hamish McNeilly
Guidebooks may be a thing of the past, thanks to an innovative Dunedin company which turns smartphones into a mobile tourism information service. Smartphone applications represented the most exciting possibilities for the fast moving tourism industry since the introduction of maps and guidebooks, AA Tourism online general manager Roger Slater said.

At the forefront of this technology was Dunedin company iVisit, which has spent nearly a year creating the smartphone application XplrNZ.

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Related Posts and Comments:
23.12.10 ODT on the “the phoenix of design and innovation”
12.11.10 FREE wireless internet in Dunedin …now that’s wicked!
12.11.10 WIC NZ Ltd announces Innovate 100 programme
11.10.10 The Distiller + WIC — Dunedin entrepreneurs
28.9.10 AugmentedReality @ Dunedin
25.8.10 New hotspot in Anzac Ave, Dunedin

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Geospatial analysis, relieving burdens on existing infrastructure

How do we design and build to accommodate changing economics, family sizes, and employee and student populations? How can we merge online technologies with physical architecture to more directly serve our real-time needs?

“The city is a dense network of relationships. The best way to provide infrastructure is to not go in with a meat ax but to practice urban acupuncture, finding thousands of different spots to go into.”
–Nicholas de Monchaux

### February 3, 2010, 6:45 pm
Space: It’s Still a Frontier
By Allison Arieff

Our beds are empty two-thirds of the time.
Our living rooms are empty seven-eighths of the time.
Our office buildings are empty one-half of the time.
It’s time we gave this some thought.

–R Buckminster Fuller

That quote is 40 years old, but I continue to be amazed by the extent to which we haven’t begun to address the problem Fuller highlighted. There’s a staggering glut of empty space around the country right now, unused space that’s not doing anyone much good. That in itself isn’t new; what is unprecedented is our ability to visualise that data in an entirely new ways.

The ability to use GIS (geographic information systems) to locate data spatially, for example, is one reason Barack Obama is president today. His campaign turned a database of voters and volunteers into a map and was able to strategise house by house about how to get those votes. More broadly, GIS allows us to literally view our place both globally and in a hyperlocal context.

That level of specificity, both at the micro and macro level, is helping revolutionise the way we think about, plan for and design the space we inhabit (or abandon). A visual map can show us patterns of overbuilding, abandonment, mis- (or lack of) use; it can teach us something about our current tendency to overbuild.

How can this now-instantaneous access to data add clarity to ingrained patterns, and perhaps allow us to change those patterns according to evolving needs and requirements?
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● Allison Arieff lectures and consults on media, design and sustainability, most recently for Urban Revision and IDEO. She lives in San Francisco.

Local Code’s quantifiable effects on energy usage and stormwater remediation eradicate the need for more expensive, yet invisible, sewer and electrical upgrades. In addition, the project uses citizen participation to conceive a new, more public infrastructure as well —a robust network of urban greenways with tangible benefits to the health and safety of every citizen.
Nicholas de Monchaux is an architect, urbanist, writer, and Assistant Professor of Architecture & Urban Design at UC Berkeley.

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‘Demolition of the Paris Metro’ by sleepycity

[Excerpts] “On 20 April 1896 the project to construct an underground transportation system for the city of Paris began. Four short years later the Compagnie du chemin de fer métropolitain de Paris (CMP) opened their first line, running east-west from Porte Maillot–Porte de Vincennes. Not long after that the CMP was joined by the Société du chemin de fer électrique souterrain Nord-Sud de Paris (Nord-Sud) and between the two companies almost all of the 10 lines initially planned for Paris were built by 1920. Initially these lines served only the city of Paris (the snobby residents even went to far as to ensure the metro ran right hand side, to guarantee non-interoperability with the left hand side system in the suburbs) but in the 30’s – 50’s the suburbs were finally connected. Today Paris’ metro is still growing and changing through constant renovations, line extensions and currently the conversion of more lines to use the driverless robotrains like those of line 14…

Back in October 2007 sometime after midnight and before the first trains rolled into regular service, qx and I took our first timid steps onto the tracks of the Paris metro. With more nervousness and care than I’d like to admit we gingerly stepped down between the metal rails just off the end of a platform wondering what madness had possessed us to do so. We’d never done Metro like this before and this scary new world was full of elements we didn’t understand at all…

Before developing a deeper appreciation of the system we were drawn initially to the abandoned stations. Some of these seem totally abandoned and haven’t been reappropriated for other uses, some have become RATP storage and others, even more rare, were never even open to the public…”

Photo essay at sleepycity
Blog author: dsankt

Tweet name and profile: sleepycity @dsankt Europe
World wandering hobo with camera, seeking adventure involving: sewers, drains, metro, subway, bridges, mines, abandonments, industry, infrastructure.

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‘Light urbanism’ – planners influencing residential design

USA’s Builder magazine picks their 10 Residential Design Trends for 2011, which include smaller houses, green building, a farm-to-table influence in the kitchen, and a walkable, village feel.

### December 16, 2010
10 Design Trends for 2011
By Jenny Sullivan
[excerpt] “Village Vibe. The suburbs are starting to feel more like little cities as planners and developers find ways to weave density and walkability into existing hot spots. “Fewer large-scale development opportunities have shifted the emphasis to smaller infill projects,” AIA chief economist Kermit Baker wrote in a recent design trends report. But these new nodes of “light urbanism” aren’t replacing existing subdivisions; they are popping up between them and connecting the dots. Prime targets for infill redevelopment include big box parking lots, dead shopping centers, strip malls, and transit stations. “People who want an urban lifestyle but either do not want to live in a ‘big city’ or cannot afford to will look to live in the many suburban town centres that have been emerging,” Urban Land Institute senior resident fellow John McIlwain wrote in a recent white paper.”
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Layers: Preservation / Creativity / Tradition / Modernity / Ideologies

### December 26, 2010
Art & Design: Critic’s Notebook
Preserving Heritage, and the Fabric of Life, in Syria
By Nicolai Ouroussoff
ALEPPO, Syria — At first glance it seems an unremarkable scene: a quiet plaza shaded by date palms in the shadow of this city’s immense medieval Citadel, newly restored to its looming power. Foreign tourists sit side by side with people whose families have lived here for generations; women, both veiled and unveiled, walk arm in arm past a labourer hauling tools into an old government building being converted into a hotel.

But this quiet plaza is the centrepiece of one of the most far-thinking preservation projects in the Middle East, one that places as much importance on people as it does on the buildings they live in. The project encompasses the rebuilding of crumbling streets and the upgrading of city services, the restoration of hundreds of houses in the historic Old City, plans for a 42-acre park in one of the city’s poorest neighbourhoods and the near-decade-long restoration of the Citadel itself, whose massive walls dominate the skyline of Aleppo, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and a gem of Islamic architecture.

[The real lessons that cities like Aleppo and Damascus can teach:] Their power is not just the beauty of historical layers. It is that the coexistence of those layers, often piled one on top of the other, embodies a world in which every generation — including ours — has the right to a voice and individual creativity triumphs over ideological difference. It is the point at which tradition and modernity are no longer in violent conflict.

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Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus / Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle

Updated post 18.11.14 at 7:02 p.m.

Urban Outfitters urbn banner []

Innovation Incubator
When profits depend on employees’ ability to create cutting-edge designs, a business simply can’t survive unless its workplace is an incubator for innovation: Urban Outfitters “lives and dies in creativity”. –Richard Hayne

After relocating to an abandoned naval yard, Urban Outfitters, the retro-chic retailer sees revenue skyrocket—and once skeptical employees have embraced the gritty, but inspiring space.

Amenities such as a gym, yoga studio, dog park, and farmers’ market further add to the lively and informal atmosphere. The exterior landscaping was designed by Julie Bargmann’s D.I.R.T. studio, known for turning derelict industrial sites into vibrant public spaces.

### 1 December 2009
Urban Outfitters’ Edgy Adventure
By Jenna M. McKnight and Sebastian Howard
PHILADELPHIA—Richard Hayne, chairman and president of Urban Outfitters, met stiff resistance when he initially announced plans to move his company’s headquarters from traditional high-rise offices to five dilapidated buildings in the decommissioned Philadelphia Navy Yard. “I wouldn’t say it was a mutiny,” Hayne says, recalling his colleagues’ reactions. “But there were definitely some blank stares and ‘are you kiddings?’”
The retailing giant, which sold nearly $2 billion worth of its clothing and apartment wares in 2008, for many years had been spread among six buildings in downtown Philadelphia. This physical separation was “horrible”, Hayne says, because each department was “unsure about what the other was doing”.
Increasingly, Hayne realised that to maximise performance his company needed a unified campus — and a generic office park was out of the question given the spirit and reputation of Urban Outfitters.
Founded in 1970, the retailer offers hip merchandise with a vintage twist aimed at trendy, young buyers. Most of its retail brands, which include Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People, are housed in renovated old buildings with double-height ceilings and exposed brick, concrete and timber.
So Hayne began looking for a setting for his new corporate home that would mirror the aesthetic sensibility of his stores, and in 2004, he found what he judged to be a near-perfect spot: the naval shipyard, which the Defense Department shuttered in 1995.
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Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus, Philadelphia’s Navy Yard (2006) - Lara Swimmer PhotographyConversion of Philadelphia’s Navy Yard (2006). Photo: Lara Swimmer

### [Urban Land Institute]
Awards for Excellence: 2007 Winner
Urban Outfitters Corporate Campus
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Navy Yard, which encompasses more than 1,000 acres (405 ha), 2,000 buildings, and 2.5 miles (4 km) of riverfront, was decommissioned in 1996. In 2000, ownership was transferred to the Philadelphia Authority of Industrial Development (PAID), and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) began developing the property on behalf of PAID and the city. The Navy Yard is rapidly becoming a dynamic and viable new business location, as evidenced by the Urban Outfitters corporate office campus, which was completed and opened in October 2006.
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Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle- Urban Outfitters HeadquartersUrban Outfitters’ pioneering move has positively impacted the entire Navy Yard. A new creative district, with top advertising agencies, graphic designers, and photographers, is growing around the retailer. New coffee shops and restaurants serve workers and visitors alike. More than 4,000 jobs have been created in the Yard since the company moved. (Thursday 29 Oct 2009)

UrbanOutfitters 2 - Lara Swimmer []UrbanOutfitters 1 - Lara Swimmer []UrbanOutfitters 3 - Lara Swimmer []More photographs of the heritage dock yard complex by Lara Swimmer at (1 December 2010).

█ Website:

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Late… designer xmas cards

Tweeted by Dezeen magazine:

These are part of the reason I can’t bear to visit Dunedin stores selling Christmas cards anymore – the locally supplied standard of design is SHOCKINGLY BAD AND INANE and the pricing is TOTALLY THE WORST RIP OFF IMAGINABLE.

There. I feel better now.

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Discovering the simple laws of cities

Whenever a city doubles in size, every measure of economic activity, from construction spending to the amount of bank deposits, increases by approximately 15 percent per capita. It doesn’t matter how big the city is; the law remains the same.

West admits that all successful cities are a little uncomfortable. He describes the purpose of urban planning as finding a way to minimize our distress while maximizing our interactions.

Cities are unruly places, largely immune to the desires of politicians and planners. “Think about how powerless a mayor is,” West says. “They can’t tell people where to live or what to do or who to talk to. Cities can’t be managed, and that’s what keeps them so vibrant. They’re just these insane masses of people, bumping into each other and maybe sharing an idea or two. It’s the freedom of the city that keeps it alive.”

### 17 December 2010
A Physicist Solves the City
By Jonah Lehrer
Geoffrey West is a theoretical physicist in search of fundamental laws, he likes to compare his work to that of Kepler, Galileo and Newton. …although West worked for decades as a physicist at Stanford University and Los Alamos National Laboratory, he started thinking about leaving the field after the financing for the Texas superconducting supercollider was cancelled by Congress in 1993. West, however, wasn’t ready to retire, and so he began searching for subjects that needed his skill set. Eventually he settled on cities: the urban jungle looked chaotic — all those taxi horns and traffic jams — but perhaps it might be found to obey a short list of universal rules.

“We spend all this time thinking about cities in terms of their local details, their restaurants and museums and weather,” West says. “I had this hunch that there was something more, that every city was also shaped by a set of hidden laws.”

And so West set out to solve the City.

West saw the metropolis as a sprawling organism, defined by its infrastructure. (The boulevard was like a blood vessel, the back alley a capillary.) This implied that the real purpose of cities, and the reason cities keep on growing, is their ability to create massive economies of scale, just as big animals do.

After analysing the first sets of city data — the physicists began with infrastructure and consumption statistics — they concluded that cities looked a lot like elephants. In city after city, the indicators of urban “metabolism”, like the number of gas stations or the total surface area of roads, showed that when a city doubles in size, it requires an increase in resources of only 85 percent. This straightforward observation has some surprising implications. It suggests, for instance, that modern cities are the real centres of sustainability.
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Historic heritage notes

Updated post
Sun, 16 Aug 2015 at 6:17 p.m.

“It is exceptionally attractive for a substation.” –Grady Cameron, Aurora

### ODT Online Sun, 26 Dec 2010
Aurora keeps facility
By Nigel Benson
An electricity substation in Ward St, Dunedin, has been preserved as an example of art deco industrial architecture. The 33kV substation was built in 1938 for the Dunedin City Council Electricity Department to service the surrounding industrial area.
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Inside the substation is half museum and half shiny, humming new electricity equipment run by computer and controlled from elsewhere.

### ODT Online Sun, 16 Aug 2015
Inside The Ward St substation
By David Loughrey
The Ward St substation is one Dunedin’s finest infrastructure buildings, an art deco masterpiece […] The Ward St substation (actually in Bauchop St) sits quietly humming in Dunedin’s industrial sector. […] The substation was the second to be built in Dunedin, after the Halfway Bush station, between 1937 and 1939. […] It is hard to decipher the signature of the city electrical engineer who signed off the architectural drawings for the building back in the 1930s; perhaps it was Harrison, perhaps Henderson.
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Post and image (2002) by Elizabeth Kerr


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New Zealand housing, a sorry tale

The poor quality of many New Zealand homes was a result of people wanting to make a quick profit, and [home owner] Eddie van Uden hoped a rating would eventually be attached to homes like a warrant of fitness.

### 5:30 AM Sunday Dec 26, 2010
NZ: Land of unhealthy homes
By Andre Hueber
Three out of four New Zealand homes are failing to meet new energy-efficiency standards, endangering the health of the families who live in them. The New Zealand Green Building Council – which represents builders, developers and government agencies – has set up a measurement system that rates houses on their energy efficiency. Of the first 3300 homes rated, most are cold, damp and unhealthy.
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DCC – will there be a “corporate grab” of water infrastructure!?

### ODT Online Sun, 26 Dec 2010
Water for discussion
By Chris Morris
A report on the future management of Dunedin’s water infrastructure, which could lead to the formation of a new council-controlled organisation (CCO), will be considered by city councillors next month. The report, outlining three options for water management in Dunedin, would be tabled during next month’s draft 2011-12 annual plan meetings, Dunedin City Council water and waste services manager John Mackie confirmed yesterday.

An Otago Daily Times request for a copy of the report – under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 – was declined because it would be released next month.

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Rolling stock – THINK multiple New Zealand applications

Hello Hillside Engineering Group…

### Wednesday, 22 December 2010 at 3:22 pm
A Rolling Masterplan by Jagnefalt Milton
Posted by Rose Etherington
Buildings roll through the city on railway tracks in this masterplan by Swedish architects Jagnefalt Milton for Åndalsnes in Norway. Called A Rolling Masterplan, the design was created for a competition to design a masterplan for the city. Jagnefalt Milton’s scheme would use both existing and new railway tracks to move buildings around according to the seasons or events. Their proposal included a mobile hotel, swimming pool and concert hall.

The Swedish architecture office Jagnefalt Milton has been awarded in the Norwegian master plan competition for the city of Åndalsnes. The jury was impressed by the Swedes’ proposals that did not propose new city blocks, public squares, boardwalks etcetera, but instead focused entirely on the existing rail road network and created something unexpected from it. They were also moved by the presentation material which they thought had a surreal mood with a magic and Tarkovsky-esk atmosphere that contrasted well with the sober and technical plans and axonometric drawings.

Jagnefält Milton is an architecture office in Stockholm, Sweden. Their last achievement was a first prize in the architecture competition to build a culture centre in the city of Galway, Ireland. The office was founded a year ago by Konrad Milton and Carl Jägnefält.
Read more + Images


See also:

### Monday, 19 November 2007 at 12:06 am
Rolling Huts by Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects
Posted by Marcus Fairs

Rolling Huts are minimally appointed mountain cabins mounted on wheels, designed by Seattle architects Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen. Located at Mazama in Washington State, the six huts serve as guest accommodation for friends of architect Tom Kundig, who has his Delta Shelter weekend retreat in the valley nearby. The cabins have wheels to get round local planning laws forbidding permanent structures.
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Skycouch and the space case . . .

### Last updated 09:42 23/12/2010
Air NZ takes possession of ‘cuddle class’ plane
By Rebecca Stevenson –
Air New Zealand’s “game changing” new Boeing airliner was officially handed over to the Kiwi national carrier in Seattle yesterday – complete with the so-called “cuddle class” economy couches. The 777-300ER is the first plane equipped with the New Zealand-designed skycouch and spaceseat which the airline says will revolutionise economy travel. Air New Zealand has been working on this interior redesign since 2006.
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Air NZ unveils the ‘cuddle class’ Skycouch
“Economy passengers have not been treated well, and we’re trying to change that,” says Air NZ spokesman Andrew Sims. 3news Link + Video

Kiwis’ Cuddle Class concept catches on
Officials are still referring to the extra features as the Skycouch but the phrase Cuddle Class is catching on – making the New York Times “new words of year” list. TVNZ Link + Video

Dos and Donts for Cuddle Class | Kiwiblog

### Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Air NZ investors not buying cuddle class hype
By Chris Keall
“Honey, I told you, keep still, or I’m going to knee you in the thigh again…”
The glam pictures of Air New Zealand’s skycouch seats, populated by snuggling models, were on every news site you looked at yesterday. So were the airline’s predictions of a boom in premium economy revenue, and a “lucrative” sideline licensing its design to Boeing. But Air New Zealand didn’t attach any numbers to its rosy predictions, and investors seemed unconvinced.
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airnewzealand | 21 December 2010
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us here at Air New Zealand!

(this video Christmas card was created entirely by Air New Zealand staff)

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ODT on the “the phoenix of design and innovation”

Dunedin has a proud history in engineering and has shown – particularly with F&P’s continued success and development – it has the flexibility and labour market to supply technologically advanced adjunct industries.

### ODT Online Thu, 23 Dec 2010
Editorial: Laudable growth
It is a scandal that Hillside’s engineering workshops are being bypassed for the contract to build 300 flat-bed wagons, work which would have secured its ongoing future as one of the few heavy manufacturing entities left in the country – and certainly in the south. But the success of Fisher and Paykel Appliances’ Dunedin operation, which is expanding its staff numbers, is an example of the ways in which modern flexible businesses can reinvent themselves – in moving from the more traditional practices and technologies into the modern, more service-based support arenas.
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F&P remained a major employer in the city, with more than 100 production designers and engineers working on designs for cooking and dishwashing appliances sold around the world.

### ODT Online Tue, 21 Dec 2010
F&P’s city staff numbers set to rise to 180
By Neal Wallace
Whiteware manufacturer Fisher and Paykel Appliances hopes to increase its Dunedin workforce to about 180 people by the middle of next year as it expands its production design and call centre staffing levels.
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Your City Our Future – call for community feedback and suggestions

Dunedin City Council
Media Release

Your City, Our Future – Have Your Say

This item was published on 20 Dec 2010.

The Dunedin City Council is planning the third stage of the Your City Our Future (YCOF) community engagement programme.

The first stage was the Futures Forum held in July 2010 when more than 200 stakeholders met to discuss the future direction of the city. The second stage involved nine leadership teams, made up of key community leaders and stakeholders, meeting regularly to discuss the future direction of the city.

Mayor Dave Cull says, “This programme provides a holistic vision for the city and it is important that the community plays an active part in creating that vision. ” I’m pleased that in my new role as Mayor, I have the opportunity to build on the work that has been done to date, and help shape Dunedin into the city its community wants it to be.”

To this end, the DCC is inviting the community to provide input into the YCOF programme. From this week, Dunedin residents will be able to offer feedback and suggestions on the Your City Our Future project at The DCC has made the project available online to engage as wide a cross-section of the community as possible.

DCC Corporate Policy Manager, Nicola Johnston says, “We want to make this process as open and accessible as we can. We have had extremely good feedback from the leadership teams, with 96% enthusiastic about continuing to be part of the process and placing the information on the website with the feedback form allows us to gather a more informal perspective.”

The YCOF programme seeks to ensure a co-ordinated approach for community input into visioning and futures thinking in:

* Community Outcomes – refresh the Community Plan vision and outcomes;
* City Development Strategy – an integrated strategy for Dunedin’s urban development over the next 30 years, including a Spatial Plan; and
* Sustainability Framework.

The YCOF process was developed based on the strategic consultation process undertaken in 2001/02 – ‘Choices for the Future – 2021’ on which Dunedin city’s original Community Plan was based.

Contact Nicola Johnston or Tami Sargeant on 474 3327.

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HARBOURSIDE Announcement

Otago Chamber of Commerce
Media Release

17 December 2010

Council Makes Further Move to Protect Industry

The following press release marks a further milestone in the Chamber’s drive to support its members, industry and the retention of employment in the city and the region.

The Chamber supported by Farra Engineering Limited, Kaan’s Catering Supplies, Bradken Dunedin & Crawford Glass recently appealed against the Harbourside Development believing that it would be harmful to industry, jobs and the economy of the region.

This latest move by Council justifies this belief and exonerates the ‘tight five’ from the criticism that the action to stop Harbourside was somehow against the best interests of the city when it was not.

Every member of the Chamber should be grateful for the actions of the Chamber’s co-appellants who used their own time and not inconsiderable personal finances to protect jobs in the city.

Members likewise should take comfort from the Mayor’s acknowledgement that your representative organisation, through its successful and constructive efforts, is now seen as a contributor to the good of the city instead of an objector to council proposals.

This will enable the Chamber in the future to be more successful in its representation of members’ interests with the Council.

The Chamber wishes members to note with appreciation the untiring efforts of Cr Colin Weatherall. Without his patience and perseverance over this long journey this great outcome would not have been achieved.

This success has not been won without hard work over more than two years. It would not have been possible without the support of the wider membership when we asked for the effort with the logo page in the ODT.

With your continuing support this success can easily become the model for the future.

OCC page link


Dunedin City Council
Media Release

17 December 2010

Council Withdraws Fairley Street Walkway Plans From Harbourside Vision

This item was published on 17 Dec 2010.

The Dunedin City Council has withdrawn its Notices of Requirement relating to the Fairley Street Walkway as part of its plans for a redeveloped harbourside area.

The designation of the walkway was publicly notified in January 2008 alongside Plan Change 7: Dunedin harbourside which re-zoned the area adjoining the Steamer Basin as Harbourside. The Commissioners decision on the designation and plan change was released in February 2009. The Council has been involved in negotiating appeals on the decision.

The decision to withdraw the Fairley Street Walkway designation was made at the Council meeting on 13 December 2010 to assist with negotiations on the appeals to the plan change and designations.

Mayor Dave Cull praised the contribution of Cr Colin Weatherall’s efforts in bringing this to a satisfactory conclusion, along with the Otago Chamber of Commerce for its leadership in protecting jobs in the city and wider region that it felt were threatened by Council’s proposal. “The Chamber’s constructive contribution, and that of the co-appellants, was crucial to this successful outcome,” said Mayor Cull.

Meanwhile, Otago Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, John Christie, said “The Chamber applauds the Council’s decision to withdraw from this course of action. They have listened to the very reasonable arguments put forward by our members. It is to be hoped this represents a shift in our relationship with the new Council. My members and I look forward to further constructive partnership with the Council”.

The Council is still looking at ways to meet the community’s wish to have better access from the city to the harbour. Options include a new pedestrian-friendly connection between the Railway Station foot-bridge and the Steamer Basin using a boulevard alongside Thomas Burns Street. Pedestrian and cycle access across the road and rail barrier at the bottom of Rattray Street is also being considered.

Contact DCC on 477 4000.

DCC page link

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RWC 2011 ticket sales

### Last updated 13:56 16/12/2010
Rugby World Cup NZ’s highest-grossing event
By Michael Fox – The Dominion Post
The Rugby World Cup is still several months away but it is already New Zealand’s highest-ever grossing event, organisers say. Figures released today show 864,000 tickets have been sold, netting organisers $166 million in ticket revenue alone.
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Richard Goldie on urban planning

### 12:51 Dec 16, 2010
It’s called “planning” for a reason
By Richard Goldie, Peddle Thorp architects
My first blog. I’m told you just write as if you were talking — to be fair the absentee audience is a bit off-putting — heckling from a place of greater safety perhaps? And I’m not that fluid a typist. The good news is that the GFC* has afforded us all some headspace, so I’ve used a bit of the time to undertake more of what I call ‘thought projects’. Naturally a number of these are focused on Auckland. I’ll briefly introduce three of them now and hope the feedback will spur deeper thinking and then maybe the chance to speak to these in more depth. Here goes….urban planning!
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*Global Financial Crisis

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Congratulations Brockville School kohanga reo auahi kore

### ODT Online Thu, 16 Dec 2010
Growing Brockville community
More than 150 parents and children from Brockville School kohanga reo auahi kore, and the local community celebrated the official opening of the Brockville community garden.
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Malcolm has it in hand

The first major music act to take the stage of the Forsyth Barr Stadium will be announced tomorrow.

We. Are. So. Excited.


### ODT Online Thu, 16 Dec 2010
Elton John set to rock stadium
By David Loughrey
Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium has attracted its first international act, with Sir Elton John booked to perform late next year. The concert follows the Rugby World Cup.

Carisbrook Stadium Trust chairman Malcolm Farry used the occasion to hit back at his critics.

“I’m mindful of the severe criticism from some quarters, who shouted from the mountain tops there was no way we would get an international artist to Dunedin; no promoter would bring one; we were dreaming.”

Read more


### ODT Online Thu, 16 Dec 2010
Concert should prove first test of venue’s flexibility
By David Loughrey
Sir Elton John’s planned concert at the Forsyth Barr Stadium late next year will test the success of the facility’s much-vaunted flexibility.
Read more


On the tiresome matter of public funding…

Malcolm, some questions the good people of Dunedin want answered (actually, this is David Davies’ domain): How much is it costing Dunedin ratepayers and residents, aside from individual ticket prices, to stage this event? What has DVML got on the bookings schedule to follow this, and how much will it cost per year to operate all events at the stadium? Gee, I hope you’ve got that commercial kitchen deal all sewn up. Elton’s a bit of a distraction, a bit like herding lambies.

It’s been interesting to see Phil Sprey’s name coming up lately in our search engine terms at What if?

Oh, and Malcolm, you haven’t yet made the full business case for the stadium build or the stadium’s operation. You are publicly accountable, so let’s be having it. Go on, lay it all out for us, we can take it. Make a clean breast of it, Malcolm – suggest you do this before RWC 2011, you’ll sleep better.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under CST, Events, Stadiums

New Zealand Academy of Sport, South Island

### ODT Online Tue, 14 Dec 2010
Sports academy discussion to be in public
By David Loughrey
The future of the New Zealand Academy of Sport, South Island, may become clear this week, in an outcome Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull yesterday described as “an opportunity for both the academy and the city”. Discussion on the issue was adjourned yesterday, after debate on a report in grey papers, or the non-public part of a Dunedin City Council meeting. That debate would begin again on Friday, but this time in public, Mr Cull, who campaigned at the election this year on a more transparent council, said last night.

The city agreed to provide the academy with a headquarters when Dunedin was picked as its South Island home. The academy’s move from its home at the former art gallery at Logan Park has been on the agenda since 2005, under the council’s $15.7 million redevelopment plan.

Read more

Related Posts:
3.3.10 Yep, Kereyn Smith thinks like ‘stadium boys’
29.7.10 Perceived conflicts of interest, what’s new?

Post by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, DVML, Economics, Politics, Project management, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Urban design

New stadium frenzy (heaven)

In the wake of the decision to hand the 2018 and 2022 world cups to virtual footballing minnows (with all respect to Russia), the race is on to design and build a plethora of new stadia.

Thankfully The Telegraph from the UK has a nice feature on the stadiums either under development, redevelopment or still in the planning stage.

Firstly, FIFA Football World Cup 2018 Russia


are just two examples from the winning Russian bid.

While these are from the Qatari winning bid for the FIFA 2022 winning bid (basically the bid I was hoping that was going to Australia).

As soon as I get a chance to get more details of these stadium projects I’ll post more.

Post by Paul Le Comte


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Inspiration, Site, Sport, Stadiums, Urban design

Dunedin going backwards – not.

In my all too polite and considered way, I’m writing a personal defence of STV in response to this mornings rant by Warwick Johnson.

Voting system must be reconsidered
ODT Mon 13 Dec 2010

First of all, let’s get the failures and inaccuracies out of the way. What is so difficult of ranking the candidates you like? Seriously, I do this every time I go to the supermarket, I like bananas very much, but on the off chance that I’m not having a banana day, I’ll get some apples too. But oh I do also like Central Otago Apricots, so I’ll have a little of them in my fruit bowl too.

STV couldn’t be more simple if you tried. You put 1 beside your most fav candidate, 2 beside the second fav, 3 beside the 3rd, 4 beside the 4th – see the pattern here? I bloody hope so or the education system in NZ is in deep trouble.

Seems Mr Johnson had trouble with this:

“Confronted with a list of 39 names, what did you have to do? Number 1 to 39? Number 1 to anything at all? Put a tick beside everyone you liked? Any or all of the above? There was even less knowledge of how to vote strategically to get the people you wanted and eliminate the people you didn’t want.”

Perhaps a pretty picture may help with this.

Which if you have succeeded through the education system to at least intermediate you could possibly have a voting paper that looked like this:

So when Johnson asks “what did you have to do? Number 1 to 39?” and the voting paper (example of which is in the ODT article ) clearly states;

Start by writing the number 1 in the box next to the candidate you most want to be elected. Write the number 2 next to your second most preferred candidate, and so on… You can write as many preferences as you like up to 39.”

I’m sorry if you are going to write such an impassioned whinge in the ODT and expect to get away with it, think again. The voting paper couldn’t be any clearer if it tried. And I’m not making this up, it’s true, it’s there in black and orange on the voting paper. If you go into the voting booth and follow those instructions then you will have completed a ballot in an STV election {you may now proceed onto Intermediate School}.

The rest of the attack on the actual ballot paper vote system is nothing more than a thinly veiled conspiracy theory.

“There was even less knowledge of how to vote strategically to get the people you wanted and eliminate the people you didn’t want.”

You know what, don’t like someone, don’t vote for them. Wow this STV stuff is getting simpler and simpler. Just as in FPP, where one person gets 11 votes, if you don’t want someone in the council – DON’T VOTE FOR THEM.

If you are politically motivated enough to want to vote strategically, then spend the time (as you would under FPP) talking to your friends and family about your options, read the candidates information in the newspapers or online – talk to the fella in the pub, but voting strategically isn’t any different or special under STV.

Here’s another fav of the disaffected FPP supporter:

“Many… demonstrated they had no idea how votes are actually calculated”

You know what, I have no idea whatsoever how the mechanics of a plane works, but I trust the professionals to get my terrestrially-based body from point A to point B. So far 100% of the time it works and I don’t complain about it – perhaps I should hark back to the days where I needed to see the flaps of the Sopwith Camel in action? That aside, if you are that worried about it, why not head over to the elections web site and watch the very very simple animation of how it works.

But to make things even simpler, I’ve included a small animation from the British Columbian STV campaign web site – yeah yeah, sorry it’s aimed at such a simple level (and instead of Riding, think Ward – the rest is the same), but it seems that simplicity isn’t something folk want when discussing STV.

OK, you are all now well on your way to secondary school. You’ve ranked your candidates, leaving out nasty Mrs Smith of #92 down the road (you know the one who insists on hanging her washing out in order of size), the computer calculates the votes, and results are posted.

Congratulations, you have just partaken in an STV election. It’s as simple as that, and yes Rod Donald was right – actually it’s easier than buying a lotto ticket, that involves some pretty complex thinking and mathematics to make sure you don’t miss out the birth date of your 3rd child in the numbers.

Now for the nub of the opinion piece,

“Before the election… there was a widespread demand for change in the governance of the city. Yet the election resulted in very little alteration in the makeup of the council”

Oh, OK so you’re not happy with the results. STV must be faulty, it must be rigged somehow, after all according to Johnson “it was because the system is too complicated for voters to use properly and because it incorporates biases”.

So I’ve clearly demonstrated above how EASY it is to vote under STV, and I trust the computers to get the simple calculations correct, then it must be because of biases in the system.

[FYI if you do need to know how to work out take-off in your next flight, follow this simple equation – and this is only part of the calculation]

I think that Johnson has a difficulty with the alphabetical listing of the candidates – and this is apparently a bias? All voting papers are alphabetical – FPP, MMP & STV. Otherwise what is the alternative, put at the top of the page the people that Johnson thinks should be there, or the ones that I think should be there, or like Mrs Smith from #92 down the road and rank candidates according to height? This is bloody madness, alphabetical listing of candidates is the most unbiased method available. If Wilson, Lloyd suffered because of his name (rather than my deep knowledge of the South Island Chairman of the Motor Vehicle Importers Industry Association), perhaps a cunning candidate would change their name to Aaaaardvark, Aaaron and guarantee themselves a top place and according to Johnson a certain place on council.

Council would be very funny wouldn’t it.

“The Motion presented by Cr Aaaaardvark, was seconded by Cr Aaaaaaaallan & Cr Aaaaaden”.

Alternatively a very expensive printing bill could be used if every ballot paper had random order of candidates. However all of this silliness aside, what Johnson is suggesting is the fundamental inability of the voter to exercise free will. Personally, the voting behaviour of individuals is complex and at times very funny. But to assume that the voter is that incapable of running their eyes over the ballot paper and put numbers beside their preferred candidates, and to NOT vote for their least desirable candidate, is in my view is doing the voter a disservice.

“I see no point in rank ordering the 11 I want elected, let alone going down the list perhaps as far as number 39.”

More fallacy. To see no point in rank ordering the 11 Mr Johnson’s wants in council is a little disingenuous, because under FPP there would have still have to have been 11 decisions made. If Mr Johnson only wanted 11 councillors under FPP, just as in STV, he would’ve had to have made an informed choice for these candidates. But to say “How on earth they differentiated between the virtual unknowns in the bottom quarter of the list is a mystery”, is bewildering. Crs Stevenson, Walls, Weatherall along with Tozer, Thompson & Vandervis are hardly ‘unknowns’ in the community – a couple of these names are on the Greater Dunedin ticket Mr Johnson is part of?

So after the fallacies, Mr Johnson gets to the issue of spoilt votes. The funny thing about STV ballot papers, you can actually scrub out the number you put beside a candidate and put another. The returning officer for Dunedin has confirmed that even if the computer can’t read the scribbled rankings of the Ballot, an actual person looks at the paper, and if the intention of the voter is easily understandable (and there were many of these ballots) then the vote is registered so.

But after all that, Mr Johnson gets to the heart of his disenchantment with the STV system – the intention of the voters. Apparently STV doesn’t deliver the council what the people want.

It is completely irrelevant if “Ms Tozer, for example, was more than 700 votes ahead of Mr Acklin in a first past the post count.”, because the system is STV and voters were allowed to exercise their right to cast lower votes for candidates x,y & z. Which is exactly what they did do in handing Cr Acklin and Cr Hudson eventual places back on the council. They carried more ranking votes in the over all vote. That is the system.

But Mr Johnson’s disgruntled ramblings continue, and apparently Democracy should be alarmed at the lack of transparency. Transparency is that funny thing which people think equates to equality or fairness. Transparency in FPP is no greater that under STV.

“Only with great difficulty and some reasonable computing skills can the public get any picture at all of why the voting ended up the way it did.”

It’s a computerised system yes, it’s complex yes, but is it flawed, does it have biases? I don’t think so. When Mr Johnson asks how do we know if the system isn’t flawed, I guess we have to leave that to the panel of experts, nerds and geeks which produced it, the parliamentary committee that approved it, and the professionals charged with operating it. Just as I have to trust the engineers, geeks and professionals who combined to create an aeroplane that gets me from Point A to Point B from time to time. Could Mr Johnson please explain how Sir Robert Muldoon’s National party which got FEWER votes in BOTH the 1981 and 1978 elections than the opposition, yet is returned to power, is fair and just because it’s transparent. In 1978 National got 11,000 fewer votes than Labour, but 11 more seats. That sort of transparency for the sake of democracy is just wrong.

Further “And in the event of a recount, if the second set of figures differed from the first, which version would be more likely to be right?” Well that goes for FPP, MMP or any other system that allows for recounts. These are just silly arguments.

In the end, when the numbers were crunched Dunedin got the council it voted for. If Mr Johnson wants randomly ordered ballot papers (again assuming the inability of the voter to exercise free will) for FPP, then surely the same can be applied to STV.

Personally, I have no time for this line of argument posed by Mr Johnson, it’s the tired grumblings of the FPP disenchanted, adding nothing to the debate. The irony is that early on Mr Johnson claims that so called experts were confused, the problem with this type of opinion piece is that it only adds to the confusion by throwing up false arguments and fallacies which I just couldn’t let lie.

Harking back to a system that is so fundamentally biased and has been proven not to reflect the will of the people isn’t the way forward for Dunedin. The way forward is for fallacies and misconceptions to be dispelled and discussed.

Posted by Paul Le Comte


Filed under Economics, Hot air, Politics