What We’re Up To: Auckland, New Zealand

In March 2015, Donovan Rypkema travelled to New Zealand on behalf of the Civic Trust of Auckland, an NGO which focuses on quality of life issues in New Zealand’s largest city and historic preservation in particular. As part of the trip Rypkema also traveled to Christchurch and Wellington. In all three cities he toured heritage areas and historic buildings. Like much of the west coast of the US, New Zealand is struggling to find ways to strengthen and maintain the unreinforced masonry buildings that constitute much of their historic building stock. This has received a higher priority since the two back-to-back devastating earthquakes that leveled much of the center of Christchurch. Rypkema made public presentations and conducted workshops in each of the cities as well as less formal interaction with government officials, property owners, developers and heritage advocates. At the end of the week he was interviewed on Radio New Zealand, their equivalent of National Public Radio.