The Wellington Story – Serendipity

Mr Gerald Blunt will be joining us at the upcoming 9th International Urban Design Conference at the Hyatt Canberra from Monday 7 November to Wednesday 9 November 2016.

Gerald Blunt works at Wellington City Council as Design Manager, City Shaper – which delivers on large city projects. Prior to this he worked at Auckland Council for 4 ½ years in the Auckland Design Office. Prior to this he was employed by Wellington City Council as an urban designer for 10 years; most recently as Chief Urban Designer. He worked extensively on the Wellington waterfront project drafting the influential Wellington Waterfront Framework. Gerald has completed a Masters degree in urban design at Oxford Brookes University, U.K. and has been awarded a fellowship of the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

Gerald Blunt
Gerald Blunt

Mr Blunt will be presenting at the conference, an abstract of his discussion is below:
The idea of serendipity is explored as a potential management tool for cities.  Serendipity is referenced in a series of management journals where it is proposed that it should be considered as part of business processes. In Make Serendipity Work for You in the Harvard Business Review, the following ideas are explored:

1. Serendipity is a close relative of creativity
2. Serendipity benefits not just from scarcity (forcing people to be creative) but from a degree of sloppiness, tenacity, and dissent.
3. History matters
4. Socializing matters
5. Diversity matters
6. Tinkering matters

The idea of serendipity has not commonly been considered in urban design and planning literature. The presentation will look at issues of cities and their design and planning, and explore why serendipity might work in the city context. This will be done through understanding Wellington’s sense of place, including how our whakapapa has been translated into a contemporary building.

Further lessons from three case studies; the waterfront, the Capital City initiative and the civic centre project will be reviewed and analysed to suggest how the idea of serendipity can improve innovation in City Shaping.

For more information on the 9th International Urban Design Conference please visit the Conference Website.

 

 

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