Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Time to do a quick round-up and link to some older posts that are still of interest.

I started WellUrban primarily to comment on architecture and urban design, and while I've broadened the focus since then, it's still the distinguishing feature of this blog. Of the posts that concentrate on urban design and urbanism, here are the most significant:
I haven't written much recently about architecture per se, though that's likely to change with Wellington Architecture Week coming up. Some of my posts on the subject discuss the Ebor St townhouses, the Prudential building extension, the State Insurance building foyer and the exhibition In the neighbourhood. My UrbanEye reviews also cover architecture as much as urbanism.

My interests in sustainable development mostly centre around issues of transport and density. Posts about transport (specifically the Green Party's policies for Wellington) include The green bandwagon and Ride the wind, and my density-related posts are mostly rants against suburban sprawl: Wind farms vs sprawl, Gullibility, and Cities vs sprawl. My last post on Urbanism Down Under covers both issues in relation to the emerging Wellington Regional Strategy.

This is about the only part of WellUrban that has anything to do with my profession!
  • I've added census data to GIS maps to look at demographic patterns in Wellington. Nga Wahi o Te Reo Māori shows the distribution of Māori speakers through the region. Much more frivolous, and much more popular (including an ongoing trickle of disappointed Google searchers) was the series Where the boys are parts 1 and 2, and its follow-up Toyboys and Sugar Daddies.
  • I've also created maps to show the location of green spaces, cocktail bars and the opening and closing of restaurants.
  • The ongoing series I can see my house from here (parts 1 and 2 so far) looks at online resources for visualising Wellington, including maps, satellite imagery and aerial photography.
Urban Life
Many of the posts that fall into this last category might seem superficial and gossipy, but they give a flavour of life in the city and help explain why I'm so passionate about it in the first place. They can also spark off serious discussions, with posts on fashion collections and coffee shops attracting comments on gentrification and globalisation respectively. Some ongoing series:
Posts tagged "flanerie" are intended to capture some of the Baudelairean spirit of the flanêur, picking up traces of "the fugitive and infinite" amid the signs and experiences of the street. I also write ad hoc notes on art, music, politics and events as they occur.


At 7:09 pm, September 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just stumbled on your blog. I'm new to Wellington, but interested in some of the things you're on about here (I teach in Media Studies at Victoria - doing a course on media and the city, actually).

Thanks for the tips and getting me to think more about local urbanism issues.

Nice blog, too.


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