Fostering Resilient and Sustainable Cities

Embracing Nature-Based Solutions in Aotearoa New Zealand

SESSION: Thursday 21st March, 4:40pm - 5:10pm
Juliana Reu Junqueira

The escalating frequency of extreme weather events, a direct consequence of climate change, presents significant challenges to urban centres worldwide. This urgent reality intersects with the imperative of accommodating rapid population growth, intensifying the demand for more densely populated urban areas. Aotearoa - New Zealand's cities are at a defining moment, compelled to navigate these intricate dynamics and embrace innovative approaches for climate adaptation.

Within this complex context, nature-based solutions emerge as beacons of promise. Rooted in the seamless integration of natural processes, these solutions hold the potential to mitigate the impacts of climate change while advancing enhanced sustainability. For instance, urban parks and tree-lined streets can serve as vibrant contributors, enhancing air quality and reducing heat island effects. Moreover, some natural features can play a pivotal role in enhancing stormwater management and mitigating the risk of flooding within urban environments. Nature-based solutions such as green roofs, walls, wetlands, and bio-retention cells can also form a spectrum of resilience, offering benefits that span from temperature regulation to flood mitigation.

Beyond their tangible advantages, the integration of nature-based solutions extends its reach to the social fabric. Enhanced well-being, stress reduction, and community cohesion intertwine in this narrative, shaping harmonious urban experiences. The realisation of these solutions hinges upon a collaborative interplay among policymakers, government bodies, urban planners, community groups, and environmental experts. Through this collective endeavour, nature-based solutions weave together urban resilience, sustainability, and liveability.

Presented By

Juliana Reu Junqueira

Team Lead, Hamilton City Council

I am an urban and spatial planner, holding a PhD in Environmental Planning from the University of Waikato. With a professional journey spanning over 19 years, my focal point revolves around the enhancement of cities and the well-being of their residents. I am dedicated to utilising my skills and expertise to contribute towards creating better and more sustainable urban environments for people.