Speaker addresses urban design fundamentals

One of the country’s leading commentators on urban design will speak at the Warkworth Town Hall Talks on Wednesday, November 14.

University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning lecturer Bill McKay writes extensively on architecture and urban design issues in books, journals and magazines such as Architecture New Zealand. His commentary and criticism over the last decade have been recognised by the NZ Institute of Architects with a President’s Award.

In Warkworth, Mr McKay has been asked to talk about urban design in a small town context and the Warkworth Structure Plan.

“Warkworth has been identified as a satellite centre in terms of the region’s growth and I can set that into the context of greater Auckland’s future and the big picture,” he says. “Although I won’t be pretending to have any expertise when it comes to Warkworth and its needs, I think it’s very important that there is balance.

“Places like Warkworth need to retain their distinct character while still moving to accommodate contemporary needs.”

Mr McKay says that apart from his academic knowledge, he will also relate his experience of a similar situation where he lives in Auckland.

“Over the past 15 years. Waterview has been looking down the barrel of the State Highway 20 extension that could have demolished our neighbourhood, but a lot of community effort has resulted in some benefits for local people.”

Mr McKay says urban design is fundamental to people’s living conditions and shapes their daily experience; where you live, how you live, how easily you get around from home to school or work, where and how you shop, and whether your leisure time is pleasant or not.

He says he loves Warkworth’s river and the cement works ruins.

“And I have a few ideas on how more could be made out of those.”

Doors open at 5pm for a 5.30pm start.

The Warkworth Town Hall Talks are free, and are sponsored by Mahurangi Action and One Warkworth. All welcome.