A few years ago, I talked James Lunday,( Jimi) Architect, Planner and Urban Designer, to apply for a job at Regenerate Christchurch. I felt he had exactly the skills necessary to add huge value to the planning which was needed in this City post-Earthquakes.
He applied and was appointed to Regenerate Christchurch as one of their General Managers. This ‘gig” as he put it finished before he really got into his stride and he and his team were disbanded in preference for a commercial team rather than design and planning.
He is a man with 40 years’ experience of city and community building. A product of the grit and steel that forged Glaswegians, and has been a resident of New Zealand for 30 years. He has worked around the world as an architect, planner and urban designer. He designed the lanes strategy in Melbourne decades ago. He worked with the Prince of Wales in the Civic Trust from everything from Brixton reconstruction to new villages. He designed Court buildings in Kuwait, waterfronts in Colombo and new town in China. He has taught at the School of Architecture and Planning in Auckland. He ran a very successful design practice for 15 years which worked for New Zealand and overseas clients. He has never lost a single case at the Environment Court. He has had a professional presence in the city since 1996.
Now James is UNESCO advocate of Design for Geelong in Australia (UNESCO City of Design). Greater Geelong has a population of 400,000 and is planning on this reaching 800,000 within 10 years. James has also just taken up the role of National Urbanist for the NZ consultancy 4 Sight (People, Land, Water), a consultancy that is concerned with projects that create a healthier environment.
I have asked James what he thinks we need to do, as Greater Christchurch, in order to plan for this area over the next 25 years. That’s what he will cover this week and I think you won’t be disappointed by what he has to say. You never walk away from a conversation with Glaswegians wondering what exactly they were saying.