Three consultants are Urban Design Forum National Committee members

The Urban Design Forum promotes cross-disciplinary understanding of urban design and provides a forum for discussion of design-based approaches that are relevant to the development and management of New Zealand towns and cities.

Tim Church (Ngāi Tahu) is an urban designer with a landscape architecture background based out of the Queenstown office.

Tim says, “My first term on the Aotearoa Urban Design Forum National Committee, representing Te Waipounamu / South Island, focused on successfully changing our constitution to enable Māori representation on the Committee. I am looking forward to deepening our relationship with Nga Aho through the next term.

“Spatial planning is one of my keen interests. I relish the combination of technical leadership, to achieve effective land use, built form and transport integration, alongside the soft skills of workshop facilitation and community engagement processes. This understanding is becoming more critical, given recent policy changes and the potential for wider RMA reform. I will also be able to draw on my experience and knowledge as a Christchurch Urban Design Panel member and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) practitioner to help us meet the challenges of creating places for people within the complex urban environments we live.”

Jos Coolen is an urban designer at Boffa Miskell in Wellington with six years’ of experience in New Zealand.  He has a Master of Science in Urban Design and Planning and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Building and Planning (University of Technology Eindhoven, the Netherlands).

Jos says, “I particularly like to explore innovative ways to future proof our towns and cities. My experience consists of a variety of projects across the country, including town centre strategies, regeneration masterplans and urban design input into small- and large-scale developments. I enjoy bridging the gaps between disciplines, which is supported by my work experience from previous roles in planning, landscape architecture and GIS.

“With the projections in population growth, and associated effects that this will have on our built environment, the application of quality urban design is becoming increasingly important in New Zealand. I believe that there is a role for the Urban Design Forum to actively engage with young professionals and students to promote a career in urban design.  I would like for the UDF to continue being a platform for people with an interest in our urban environment to share knowledge and ideas.”

William Hatton joined the Auckland office inas a graduate landscape architect after earning a Bachelor of Architectural Studies and a Master of Landscape Architecture (Merit) from Te Whare Wānanga o Te Ūpoko o Te Ika (Victoria University).

William says, “E nga mana, e ngā reo, e ngā kārangatanga maha, tēnā kōutou, tēnā kōutou. My kāinga-tahi is Te Mātau a Maui (Hawkes Bay) and I am passionate about the interconnectedness between whenua and whakapapa. Although relatively new to practice, I am an emerging teina ready to work with tuakana to help grow Māori representation within our spaces.

“I was appointed onto the UDF Committee to represent and help establish the relationship with Ngā Aho. Ngā Aho (which I am a Pae Tahi and Executive Committee member) is a network of Māori and Indigenous design professionals who come together to support each other to better service the design aspirations of our Māori and Indigenous communities; and facilitate responsive and effective initiatives that elevate Te Ao Māori within urban environments of Aotearoa.

I’m fortunate enough to be raised across multicultural worldviews, understanding and knowing the value of people, place and identity. I am an  advocate for growing capability of Te Ao Māori within practice; with my keen interests being within cultural design, engagement and integration. These have provided me with the tools to work alongside iwi, hapū, whānau Māori to see themselves and express our faces within our spaces.

I hope to grow and guide the Urban Design Forum within these spaces, understanding the importance of recognising how urban environments can reflect our distinct Aotearoa culture, context, people and place.

Nāu te rourou, Nāku te rourou, Ka ora ai te iwi!”

For further information please contact Tim Church, Jos Coolen or William Hatton

8 December 2020