The 2023 NUWAO International Symposium on Nature-based Urban Climate Adaptation for Wellbeing was held on the 20-22 April, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, School of Architecture, 139 Vivian Street, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.
We invited researchers, design professionals, practitioners, university students, and the general public to participate in envisioning how to develop innovative nature-based urban design solutions, particularly those rooted in Indigenous knowledge, that support climate change adaptation and individual and community wellbeing. We provided on-line as well as in-person participation.
The symposium included current research, case study examples, and practice related to nature-based solutions in Oceania.
To our knowledge this is the first international meeting specifically focused on design-led nature-based solutions to climate adaptation, wellbeing and resilience.
This symposium highlighted Nature-based solutions work and practice where Indigenous knowledge is the driver or at the heart of projects.
Here is the original call for abstracts.
The geographic scope for the symposium was principally focused on urban areas of Oceania.
1. Provide a platform for Oceania-wide discussion, talanoa and korero on nature-based knowledge and research on climate change adaptation.
2. Highlight nature-based research and practice where Indigenous knowledge, wellbeing and resilience are at the centre.
3. Explore design-focused adaptation responses to climate change, including showcasing NUWAO design competition winners.
4. Evaluate and extend existing understandings of the above issues and approaches by practitioners, students and others, to help lay a platform for future work and collaborations.
5. Progress towards agreed best practice processes of NbS climate adaptation with Indigenous wellbeing at the centre.
- Opportunities and issues for an Indigenous knowledge-driven focus on climate change adaptation and resilience in Oceania
- Oceania urban wellbeing and resilience frameworks
- Implementing just, enabling, participatory and co-designed climate change adaptations
- Design-led focus on climate change adaptation and resilience in Oceania -what could this look like?
- Elements or examples for a design toolkit on nature-led climate change adaptation and resilience for Oceania urban areas
We have high profile speakers, fascinating research and design presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and an awards ceremony and exhibition opening for the NUWAO Oceania Nature-based Urban Adaptation driven by Indigenous Knowledge Design Competition on the 20th of April. A representative of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO delivered the awards.
In additional to the formal symposium programme there was a casual social gathering on the 20th of April after the awards ceremony at Southern Cross Garden Bar and Restaurant at 6.30pm. There was also an optional field trip on the 22nd of April.
Selected Keynote Speakers
Director of Economy and Development
Hutt City Council
Te Āti Awa, Ngāi Tūhoe
Associate Professor Amanda Yates
Auckland University of Technology
Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Te Aitanga a Mahakai, Rongowhakaata
Leali’ifano Dr Albert Refiti
Auckland University of Technology
Professor Derek Kawiti
Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington
Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāpuhi
Field trip (Saturday 22nd April)
We offered an exciting optional addition to the symposium programme: a (mainly) walking field inspection of highlights of our fascinating and beautiful Wellington City (Te Whanganui-a-Tara). Guided by experts who really know and love the city, explore the natural and cultural diversity of the city, and see and discuss the opportunities and challenges for climate change response and resilience. The tour included:
- Walking through selected city streets and along the beautiful Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington Harbour) waterfront, including the site of the proposed Pasifika Fale Malae.
- Riding the famous 120-year old Wellington Cable Car.
- Viewing construction of Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington’s Living Building Challange Living Pā project.
- A guided tour or self-guided walk around Wellington’s ground-breaking eco-sanctuary Zealandia Te Mara a Tane.
For an introduction to many of the things we saw, visit the Wellington Nature in the City interactive map.
Registration, Fees, and Accommodation
Our aim has been to keep fees as low as possible. There is no profit being made on the Symposium; we are just covering costs. Let us know if you would like to help with sponsorship of the event, or scholarships for attendees.
|Fee category||Early Bird Fee $NZ |
(up to 22 March 2023)
|Full fee $NZ |
(after March 22 2023)
|Full (professional) in-person||$260||$320|
|Full (professional) online||$100||$150|
We are looking into travel support options for Pacific peoples. You may want to apply for travel support through the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ‘Collaborate Pacific‘ fund if you are a Pacific Island citizen (by February 2023 at the latest).
We have collected some options for accommodation, mainly near the symposium venue, which we recommend booking as soon as possible to ensure availability and lower prices.
Note: Rooms are not being held – These rates are only estimated and we would advise that if you require accommodation to book in advance and as soon as possible. Otherwise, room availability and the estimated price range may differ from those below.
Option 1: Naumi Hotel (Recommended) https://naumihotels.com/studiowellington/
10 Dunlop Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington 6011 (1-minute walk from the venue)
The Naumi studio hotel, immediately adjacent to the symposium venue can be booked using the VUW deal on offer for bookings made before 1 April 2023. To use this VUW deal use code ‘NUWAO’
Option 2: The Marion Hostel https://www.themarionhostel.com/
13 Marion Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011 (5-minute walk to the venue)
Room options include double rooms, twin rooms, and shared dorm rooms
Estimated prices range from $34 to $110
Option 3: The Marksman Motor Inn https://www.marksmanmotel.co.nz/
40/44 Sussex Street, Mount Cook, Wellington 6021 (10-minute walk from the venue)
Room options: Studios, one-bedroom units and two-bedroom units; off-street parking may be available – enquire on booking.
Estimated price range from $160 to $240
Option 4: Airport Motel https://airportmotel.nz/
142 Tirangi Road, Rongotai, Wellington 6022 (on Lyall Bay foreshore adjacent to Wellington Airport, 8km from CBD; nearby bus service #3 is available)
Room options include traveller and family studios and units; off-street parking may be available – enquire on booking. Estimated price range from $129 to $209
Climate Change principles and travel offsets
We are very conscious of the carbon-emission implications of an in-person international gathering during our climate crisis, especially one centred on a region as vulnerable to climate impacts as ours. Although we think it is necessary for our symposium to be primarily face-to-face, we are determined to minimise our carbon emissions, especially those associated with air travel, and to offset what can’t be avoided.
We encourage all intending participants to factor carbon offset costs into their travel budgets. We have teamed up with the respected New Zealand environmental consultancy Ekos to offer options for doing just this. We are also reducing emissions through other aspects of the symposium, for example in offering only vegetarian food in our catering options.
Through Ekos we suggest three options for travel-related carbon offsetting:
- Use Ekos’ individual measurement and offsetting calculator to measure your flight or driving emissions in getting to Wellington for the symposium. Follow through the steps in the tool to calculate your flight or driving emissions (accommodation and other emissions can be included too), and this will take you through to a calculated total amount to pay to partially or fully offset those emissions through purchasing certified forest carbon credits from Ekos’ supply chain of permanent restorative forest carbon projects. Participants in this option will receive an Ekos Carbon Friendly certificate.
- If you can’t afford the cost of even partial offsetting or simply prefer to make a donation to a carbon-related forest conservation project, this can be done through Ekos’ donation page. Project donations (any amount can be chosen) contribute to the non-commercial costs of the chosen project, such as conservation management, pest control, and accreditation and are highly valued. Donations are not purchases of carbon credits. You can select which forest project you wish to support with your donation.
- Work through Ekos’ Carbon Friendly certification process to measure, offset and certify full travel offsets. This tool is primarily for organisations wishing to offset their attendee’s travel. This could be done through Ekos’ quick, affordable online business-calculator tool or by directly working with the carbon management team (contact is in the online business calculator tool).
For further information on organisation certification and other enquiries please contact email@example.com
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Thanks to our Symposium Sponsors (below) and to our Design Competition Sponsors for the Symposium Exhibition