Community Participation in City-Making – free public lecture

A free public lecture with Joan Raun Nielsen & Sofie Willems of Spektrum Architects (Denmark)

6.00 – 7.30 pm Monday 16 April
DL – D Block Lecture Theatre, Ara Institute of Canterbury, 60 Madras St

There is a lot of interest in Christchurch in how communities can be more and better involved in helping revive and remake public spaces, buildings and parks. So how can we facilitate community participation in public space and architecture projects?

In this free and public lecture, Joan Raun Nielsen and Sofie Willems, award-winning architects from Spektrum Architects (Denmark), present their approach to co-creation and participatory practice, and share some of their superb projects with us.

They have worked with a broad range of people, including communities with very limited budgets, and have achieved stunning results through the use of community consultation. Regardless of land ownership or who the client is – be it public, community or private or a mixture – their practice is applicable to a wide range of situations and to a variety of people

Joan Raun Nielsen and Sofie Willems – Spektrum Architects

Spektrum Architects works with building architecture, landscape, urban planning and public participation in the pursuit of design that takes into consideration a specific site’s qualities and social dynamics. Working within the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning, the office insists on an architectural approach where the inside and outside environments are inextricably linked.

Joan Raun Nielsen and Sofie Willems were awarded with the prestigious Nykredit Sustainability Prize 2016 for ‘placing sustainability centrally in their architecture through inclusion, social awareness and commitment’. The work of Spektrum Architects is a testament to how architects with few resources and dedication can create projects with deep roots. Their work stands out with processes of strong social anchoring, where climate, landscape and people are engaged in an active learning process for the whole community. Spektrum Architect’s site-specific work manages to combine resource-conscious and social responsibility with local responsibility, architectural poetry and sensibility.’

This lecture is presented by Te Pūtahi – Christchurch centre for architecture and city-making. It has been made possible with the support of Boffa Miskell, the Canterbury branch of the NZIA, Firth and Mark Herring Lighting. We also wish to acknowledge our accommodation partner, BreakFree on Cashel and to thank Ara for the venue.

Nielsen and Willems will also be speaking at the 2018 NZILA Firth Conference taking place in Auckland.

“Tesla of Eco-Villages” being built in Europe

An Off-Grid Community Producing its Own Food, Water and Electricity

The world’s first off-grid village, capable of producing its own energy, water and food, is set to be erected in Almere, the Netherlands, as early as this summer. ReGen Villages, in partnership with Danish architecture firm Effekt, will help address a number of the world’s pressing issues; the rising population, climate change and limited resources.

By 2050, nearly 10 billion people will live on Earth. As a result, regenerative housing and community development that can provide clean water, healthy food sources, waste removal and scarce arable land will be needed, in order to sustain the human population.

“We’re really looking at a global scale,” says ReGen CEO, James Ehrlich, referring to it as the ‘Tesla of eco-villages’.

Living Sustainably

The off-grid villages will feature a number of greenhouses that would allow residents to grow food and recycle waste. Some of the greenhouses will feature high-tech vertical farms and indoor vegetable gardens. A number of outdoor seasonal gardens will also be integrated into the village.

Greenhouses for growing food and recycling wasteA number of greenhouses allow residents to grow food and recycle waste.

Resident waste will be recycled and used to feed livestock and soldier flies – a sustainable source of food for the fish – while the fish waste will be used to fertilize an aquaculture system, which in turn feeds the indoor garden plants. Finally, livestock waste will fertilize the outdoor seasonal gardens. Ehrlich says:

We are redefining residential real-estate development by creating these regenerative neighbourhoods, looking at first these greenfield pieces of farmland where we can produce more organic food, more clean water, more clean energy, and mitigate more waste than if we just left that land to grow organic food or do permaculture there.

Read the Full Article here

Designed for life: re-inventing apartment living – the Nightingale Model

On Radio NZ 9 May 2017

Nightingale Housing was formed by a group of leading Australian architects to build quality apartments with shared facilities – at prices that don’t cost the earth. Could the model work in New Zealand?

Read another article on our site about Nightingale here

Listen to Radio NZ interview here  

The Commons, a precursor to the Nightingale apartment projects, is built and occupied. It showed the Melbourne financial model works

Co-Housing New Zealand – a new national network

co-housingnzOver 30 years ago I lived in a community at St Pauls Anglican Vicarage.  Tim Gummer was one of those people, and we have recently reconnected around contemporary Co-Housing in New Zealand – what goes around comes around it seems.

Tim is behind a small group in Auckland, and set up a facebook group.

In late December he set up a website to help develop an ecosystem for communities in New Zealand to connect and develop, as a new generation of cohousing emerges here.

It’s early days for the site but like a few properties it’s… ‘full of potential’. Check out to see a wide range of formative communities: rural &urban, small &large, site hunting & secured. You might just find a project you want to be part of.  The Viva Community and the New Brighton Sustainable Coastal Village are both there.

Watch their space

co-housing- full

Mid Winter Networking 2015

VivaLogoA Very BIG hello from the Viva! Core Team!

You may have thought you would not hear from us again but we can report that some very exciting things have been happening behind the scenes and we thought you would like to know about them!

We are here and we are PUMPING!!
Come along to the next networking meeting to hear more!

Viva network meeting
Mon 29 June at Pegasus Arms 5.30 – 7.30 pm

Speakers include:

Chris Freer from Solar City providing innovative solutions

solar citysolarZero provides the option to purchase solar power – not panels. You can buy solar power from the panels we install on your roof, at a monthly rate that is less than what you are currently paying for grid power today – guaranteed fixed for the next 20 years.

Tom Dickie from EcoHaus

EcohausWorking with our European partners EcoHaus NZ offers German efficiency with English ingenuity and pride in workmanship. With an EcoHaus NZ purchase you get a speed of construction, that is New Zealand market leading, and quality in design, gives German accuracy and quality to every build.

Pegasus Arms: Drinks & bar food will be available for purchase. Call 366 0600 or email for dinner reservation following the meeting.
How to find it?  see Google map at the bottom of this page

RSVP to Jane Quigley
Feel free to pass this invitation on to anyone else you think may be interested.

Three Developments in the Pipeline

  1. A prefab construction company, based on a passive German design, have approached Viva! asking if we are interested in working with them on a design for a sustainable urban village on a 5540 m2 in the City. We are presently doing some due diligence on this.
  2. We are presently looking at another site, 5000 m2 piece of land in the city,that we are pretty excited about because it is in a great location! We are doing some investigations on this land and can not say too much at this stage.
  3. The Viva Project has submitted an Expression of Interest, EOI, for an inner city piece of land. More on this at the network meeting.

Other events coming up

  • All welcome to the Winter Party and Pot luck dinner and David Guthries 6.30 Sat 11 July 

David’s home is 14 Merlewood Ave Cashmere, off Cracroft Terrace or Centaurus Road (about 5 m from colombo St roundabout

  • More networking events coming up over the next few months with WelHaus, the latest from New Brighton Sustainable Urban Village, David Killick from The Press will speak about his recent trip to Vauban, Germany, one of the world’s most celebrated residential eco-neighbourhoods,  Christchurch Architect: Mitchell Coll, Director of Coll Architecture will speak about his eight-star student apartments – Matipo on the Green – Riccarton
  • Bike ride – join us to ride the Little River Cycle Trail – Date tba

The Viva! Project Our vision: “Creating Vibrant Urban Villages, Innovative and Inspiring Examples of Sustainable Design and Connected Community