Climate change is a hot topic (excuse the pun) but that was certainly proven by the chatter amongst attendees at the Auckland Conversations event that took place on Tuesday 15 March in central Auckland.
Over 400 people packed into the Aotea Centre to hear Mark Watts, Executive Director of C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, give a riveting talk on the issues affecting Auckland and how cities around the world are coming together to combat climate change.
John Mauro, Auckland Council's Chief Sustainability Officer kick-started the conversation with a compelling introduction by suggesting "Cities that don't move on climate protection will simply be left behind."
Mayor Len Brown then introduced the keynote speaker of the evening, Mark Watts, with a 45 minute presentation that offered valuable insights into what other cities are doing around the world to tackle climate change.
The C40 Executive Director explained how Auckland’s recent admission into C40 was a welcomed move into a prestigious organisation, which is an invite-only establishment.
Touching upon the controversial topic of densified cities and carbon reduction Mark said, "Sprawl is the enemy, density is the friend. You just have to look at the numbers." Mark went on to highlight Copenhagen as a leading example of a compact city that has seen huge social and economic benefits.
After a great Q+A session with Mark Watts, Transport blog's Patrick Reynolds and Alex Cutler from New Zealand's Green Building Council; Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse brought the conversation to a close by reiterating a quote from Mark's presentation:
"An advanced city is not where the poor drive cars, but where the rich use the bus." - Enrique Penalosa, Mayor of Bogota.
#AklConversations ranks number one on Twitter
From the moment the conversation started, the twittersphere was a-light with people contributing their thoughts on climate change. Followers who were unable to attend the event in person, were able to watch it live-streamed through the Auckland Conversations website and contribute to the Twitter feed using the #AklConversations hashtag. The hashtag was still trending as the event came to a close, beating the likes of The Bachelor to pole position.
Join the conversation
If you missed out on this event, you can watch this conversation plus many more past events. You can also register to attend the next conversation on 7 April entitled "The Value of Well-Designed Cities with Urban 3's Joe Minicozzi. Joe’s company specialises in economic productivity and how data and design can help shape cities, so this is sure to be another insightful topic.
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Let's keep the conversation going.