News, Events and Culture

London planner for Palmerston North active transport conference

Monday July 30 2018

‘Moving Towards Healthy Communities’, a three-day conference promoting active transport – walking and cycling – opens in Palmerston North today.

Photo shows NZTA drawing of the government's active transport goals.

The conference will showcase ways walking and biking can help achieve healthier, smarter and more liveable cities, and inform the changes needed in transport systems to make it happen.

Among the 200 delegates from New Zealand and overseas attending the biennial 2WalkandCycle Conference at Palmerston North City Council’s Conference and Function Centre, is award-winning London public health consultant Lucy Saunders.

Specialising in transport, public realm and planning, Saunders is responsible for developing a human health and quality of life-centred approach to public planning and management called Healthy Streets.

The Healthy Streets Approach has been adopted in London, and the 2015 UK Transport Planner of the Year delivers the closing address on Wednesday afternoon, 1 August.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford will also visit the conference on Wednesday.

Joining presenters from NZTA, University of Otago, Living Streets Aotearoa and the Ministry of Transport are Palmerston North City Councillors Aleisha Rutherford and Brent Barrett.

As well as key-note presentations, the NZTA-sponsored conference hosts seminars, panel discussions, workshops and field-trips.

Delegates will have an opportunity to tour the Manawatū River He Ara Kotahi shared-path bridge site and Manawatū Gorge, and join walking and cycle tours of Palmerston North’s shared path and urban cycle network guided by City Council personnel and City Councillor Rachel Bowen.

Those attending the conference include researchers, engineers, town planners, architects, academics, politicians, and active transport advocates.

“We have been extremely busy preparing for the event to make sure delegates feel welcome in our vibrant city,” the Council’s General Manager Infrastructure Ray Swadel says.

Council’s Placemaking preparations for the conference have included the brightly coloured triangles splashed across the intersection of Palmerston North’s George and Main Street, a giant screen outside the conference venue, and funky pop-up seating arrangements.