News & events


Our seminar series will resume in 2017.

Videos of past events

Our seminars with local and international speakers, including academic researchers, government policy makers and community representatives, are open to the public.

To receive news of upcoming seminars, please email

Summer school

Our annual February summer school at University of Otago, Wellington, brings together a range of national and international experts, practitioners and policy-makers to explore specific urban topics. There are opportunities for networking, hearing a wide range of perspectives, examining a topic in depth, and considering the practical applications of latest research.

Behavioural economics: Nudging people to better health
Why do people make unhealthy or irrational choices? Why is marketing effective? Behavioural economics incorporates ideas from psychology, neuroscience and microeconomics to better explain what we observe in the “real world” of human behaviour. Ichiro Kawachi, chair of the Department of Social and Behavioural Science at Harvard University, will draw on this cutting edge research, along with New Zealand researchers discussing local policy and public health issues.
8 – 9 February 2017

Fuel poverty, energy vulnerability and injustice 
Learn more about fuel poverty and energy vulnerability, current thinking on research and policy, and positive solutions in a changing energy landscape.
14 February 2017

Green space in the resilient city
What roles can urban green space play in the development of sustainable and resilient cities internationally and in New Zealand? This is an enjoyable “talk and walk” examination of an important aspect of urban form and function.
16 February 2017

Signposting the routes to active transport
Walking and cycling are great for health, the environment and the economy. Yet our cities and countryside are dominated by cars and the roads and parking spaces they require. We look at the intersection of transport and health and the built environment, children’s travel to school, walking to work, conflicts in shared spaces, and what works to increase cycling and walking.
17 February 2017

Insulation plus!
This one day seminar presents the latest insulation research and policy from a variety of international and local experts, as we ask if and how the estimated 500,000 remaining uninsulated homes in New Zealand can be retrofitted.
23 February 2017

Art and public health: Wellbeing, social critique and communication
This day introduces multiple ways in which art and public health intersect, including the role of public art in wellbeing and in creating social space, the use of art to discuss public health issues, and the ways in which art and artists can create space for thinking about social and environmental change.
24 February 2017

Previous summer school topics have included drivers of urban change, reducing inequalities in health systems and housing, affordable housing, urban health and sustainability, climate change and health, visioning the city: a hands-on tour, sustainable urban transport, urban intensification, co-benefits of cycling, and transport and urban form.