Published in FOCUS: Journal of the City and Regional Planning Department (Cal Poly), Volume 1, April 1, 2004, pages 65-67.
New Zealand, or Aotearoa to the native Maori, is a small island nation of 4 million people and 47 million sheep, located across the Tasman Sea from Australia. The home of the Kiwi (an endangered bird, a popular fruit, and the friendly people) is about the size of Colorado, although the shape of the north and south islands would approximate the elongated length of California.
Much of New Zealand would remind us of Oregon and the Sierras with their majestic Southern Alps. Overall, New Zealand reminds me of California during the 1950’s, before urban sprawl kicked in with a vengeance. As a former British colony, New Zealand had followed the traditional Town and Country Planning model, until the early 1990’s when sustainability became a major interest to a wide range of national politicians and officials, planners, and citizens. Unlike the U.S., New Zealand has been very active in attempting to address global issues at both the national and local level, especially since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Urban, Community and Regional Planning