The purpose of this seminar is to learn about how managed retreat is administered in the US, and what lessons we can learn from their experiences of small and large scale relocations of communities.

A key component will be a Q&A session, where your questions on managed retreat pre-circulated will be discussed.

For the first part of the seminar, Prof Gavin Smith will outline the approach to managed retreat in the United States, where funding is available and processes are already in place to design and implement the retreat of communities both pre- and post-events. Prof Smith will highlight from how this differs from the approach in Aotearoa New Zealand, which is typically reactive and bespoke to the community that urgently requires a retreat response.

The second half will be a Q&A discussion on managed retreat design, implementation and regeneration. If you have any questions you would like to discuss, please forward these in advance to

Note re venue access - Please enter from the lift access core nearest Michael Hill Jeweller.

Door access will not be available after 5.30pm, so please arrive early.


Gavin Smith

Gavin Smith is a Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at North Carolina State University. His past research includes a comparative assessment of hazard-prone housing acquisition programs in the U.S. and New Zealand, and he is back in Aotearoa New Zealand to continue research into lessons from managed retreat programs. This will inform work undertaken by a White House Committee to develop national guidance for a still emerging national program on managed retreat in the US.

While there has been over 50,000 buyouts in the US, very few are well planned and they are largely triggered by funding following a federal disaster, often leading to suboptimal outcomes like checkerboarding and the poor use of the resulting open space. Prof Smith has done preliminary work assessing what constitutes an innovative buyout process, and has recently completed an open space management guide to assist communities better program post-buyout lands. He is also in the process of creating a Coastal Hazards Overlay District Guide to assist communities consider specific design techniques associated with managed retreat, avoidance, protect, and accommodate strategies.

Registration is easy! Simply click the ‘Add to Cart’ button above and follow the prompts.

Hope you can join us!

Event Queries

This event was organised by the NZPI Canterbury/Westland Branch. If you have any questions about the event, Clare Piper,

If you have any questions about registrations, please email

Registrations Close

Friday 15 September.

Late Registrations

If you cannot see an 'Add to Cart' button above, online registrations have closed. If there are tickets available we may be able to accept late registrations, please click here if you are interested in attending.