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Built Environment Leaders Forum – Summary of Findings


The key messages and output of the Built Environment Leaders Forum have already been socialised widely since the Forum. The Findings have:

  • contributed to the development of the Christchurch City and Wellington City Resilience Strategies
  • provided input to the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management’s National Disaster Resilience Strategy
  • been presented at engineering, lifelines, and natural hazard management conferences in New Zealand and overseas
  • been published in engineering magazines
  • been published on websites, along with all of the keynote speaker presentations - http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/building-construction/safety-quality/built-environment-leaders-forum

This Summary of Findings document outlines a series of areas where forum attendees identified there was a need for further work according to the five main themes of the forum – strategic directions, economics of resilience, smarter land use, resilient buildings, and resilient infrastructure. It takes a systems view of the built environment to consider more carefully where we build not just how we build. It considers our buildings and infrastructure as part of an integrated system that involves neighbouring buildings, activities and people.

In particular, the Summary of Findings can be used to inform future thinking about natural hazard issues, building and infrastructure policy settings, and future land use planning for New Zealand. We note that this effort supports the recent Productivity Commission’s report ‘Better Urban Planning’.

We believe the Summary of Findings document provides a useful framework for identifying opportunities to improve our built environment to work with the natural hazards we face in New Zealand. The Kaikoura earthquake, in particular the significant impact on Wellington’s commercial buildings, provides a constant reminder of the high hazard environment we live in. The initiatives contained in this document are important for both public and private sector decision makers towards achieving a more resilient built environment for our communities and to our economy. This document also helps focus attention on where to prioritise built environment research investment.

View the Summary of Findings document here.