People, profit and public good: a lowdown on building cities *MONDAY 10th AUGUST*

Urbanerds are very excited about our upcoming Virtual gathering, with two gurus of Wellington’s property scene giving their insights about how to get property making our city hum.


The two great engines of change in cities are transport, and property.  Transport happens out in the open, while property is more mysterious. 

Everyone has an opinion on property developments, from Shelly Bay to Press Hall to Te Mara Apartments – the reckons fly as thick and fast on property as on transport, with lots of media coverage feeding the frenzy.

But who among us has real insights into how change happens… between the streets?  

Urbanerds is excited to bring you two illuminating expert speakers in our 10th August special virtual session!

Speaker details:

Chamanthie Sinhalage-Fonseka –  Wellington Urban Consulting

Chamanthie currently leads a team that advises a wide range of Wellington corporates in the urban sphere, including large-scale developments, housing, tourism, hospitality and hotels. Her career has included senior advisory roles to mayors of two of the largest cities in New Zealand, where she tackled critical challenges around economic development, urban regeneration and city reputation. Her passion for housing led her to be one of the original group of people who created the award-winning People’s Project, which was the first of its kind for homelessness in New Zealand. More recently, she combined this social intervention with the property sector, to become one of the founding cohort of Te Kāinga, which is a first of a kind affordable rental intervention in New Zealand.

Peter Dow – iD Property Partnership

Peter has been intimately involved in property for 50 years, both here and overseas. After a stint in Hong Kong working on large housing developments, and government restructuring, he’s been NZ-based.  Following 20 years acting for the end-users of property (including tenant advocacy and portfolio planning), he’s been a long-time partner with Maurice Clark on public-good development projects: heritage restorations and building conversions for both market-rate and affordable housing.  His sector roles include co-founding the Property Institute, founding Chair of the Green Building Council, and a stint on the board of Housing NZ, “probably the most frustrating years of my life”.

Peter has a passion not for property per se, but for how it can transform life – be it social housing giving people a fair chance, retail development enlivening cities, or office space boosting productivity. His current obsessions are tackling the inefficiencies and costs in the build process, and helping the “forgotten quartile: the 30-odd percent of the population who it’s too hard for the government or the industry to house”.

5.30-7pm MONDAY 10.8.2020.  RSVP here for calendar details!    
[UPDATE: rescheduling from Tuesday 4th as one of our speakers has been felled by a bug. (Non-COVID!)]

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