On Thursday 21st September, with the hours ticking down to election day, Unity Books played host to a timely and politically charged book launch. Philippa Howden-Chapman (co-editor alongside Lisa Early and Jenny Ombler) launched her book Cities in New Zealand: Preferences, Patterns & Possibilities to a hopeful and eager crowd. Lined up to speak were Mayor Justin Lester and Labour’s Grant Robertson who, as expected, delivered rousing speeches.
Philippa spoke about the urgency of change in the forthcoming election and the importance of unity to create sustainable yet affordable living, and emphasising health being at the heart of a city. Philippa then thanked the fifty plus researchers who contributed to the book over the last decade.
Justin echoed this importance of change, describing how central government sets the policy though its local council, which are responsible for doing the groundwork for affordable social housing. Recommending Cities in New Zealand be included as a school textbook, he then did his Mayoral duty, singing the praises of Wellington.
Rounding out the evening, Grant spoke about how he and Philippa spent many an afternoon drinking coffee at Aro Café, and how the idea for the NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities began its life as notes on the back of a napkin. Grant finished by highlighting Philippa’s impeccable research & describing her abilities to turn policies into action as “second to none”.
With applause throughout and spirits high, the crowd finished their evening having Philippa sign their books.
Cities in New Zealand: Preferences, Patterns & Possibilities is available to purchase in-store and online.