Life in the big city – free public lecture series

22 August 2017

Do cyclists breathe easier on one side of a cycleway barrier than another? How much difference do trees really make to air quality? What happens when we bury natural streams beneath concrete and asphalt? How hard is it for native species to survive in cities?

These questions and more will be addressed in this year’s University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor’s Lecture Series, a series of four free public lectures which focus on life in the city and how vegetation, water, transport and wild spaces directly impact our health and wellbeing.

Auckland is New Zealand’s fastest-growing city, with another one million people expected to be living here by 2040. That means demand on space, housing and transport will only increase.

“People migrating to large urban areas is a trend that has been going on for a very, very long time and there is no sign of that reversing,” says Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences Associate Professor Kim Dirks of the School of Population Health.

“But what quality of city life should we be aiming for and how do we ensure cities are good places to live?”

This lecture series brings a multidisciplinary perspective to the discussion with a focus on human and environmental health in the face of urban intensification.

Lecture 1, 4 September, Associate Professor Kim Dirks
Getting around town: Impacts of transportation on health and wellbeing

Lecture 2, 6 September, Associate Professor Jenny Salmond, School of Environment, Faculty of Science
Green city, clean city? Determining the value of vegetation in urban design

Lecture 3, 11 September, Associate Professor Kevin Simon, School of Environment, Faculty of Science
Down the Drain: Can we have healthy streams in cities?

Lecture 4, 13 September, Senior Lecturer Margaret Stanley, School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science
Wild Auckland: How liveable is the city for nature and people?

Each one-hour lecture starts at midday in Lecture Theatre 260-092, Level 0, Owen G Glenn Building (Business School), 12 Grafton Rd.

2017 Vice-Chancellor's Lecture series this year is called Live in the big city: Human and environmental health in the face of urban intensification. Photograph of a green park in a city environment.

More information at the Vice-Chancellors Lecture Series.



Anne Beston
Media Relations Adviser
University of Auckland

Tel: +64 9 923 3258
Mobile: + 64 (0) 21 970 089