Hamilton, New Zealand Environmental Sustainability Strategy

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Hamilton, New Zealand

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Type: Policy

Status: In effect

Source File: http://hamilton.co.nz/page/pageid/2145842771/Environmental_Sustainability_Strategy


Learning to create a sustainable city

A sustainable city means a better life for all of us.

This Environmental Sustainability Strategy spells out the changes we need to make to create a sustainable Hamilton. However, success depends on the cumulative effect of those changes – from each of us as individuals right up to the big institutions and investors who will shape the city's future.

This Environmental Sustainability Strategy is the culmination of eight months of collaborative working between 10 Hamilton based agencies to develop a shared vision for the city's environment. The strategies principles are set out in four key themes areas; mobilised and responsive communities, environmentally sensitive urban growth, healthy ecosystems and resource conservation. A series of flagship projects have been identified that will help us shape that change over the next 5 years in a positive way. We have a shared responsibility for making it work.

The groups and organisations that have signed this strategy recognise this.

Mobilised responsive communities
awareness action ownership
For any city to be sustainable under the growing influence of climate change, increasing resource scarcity, economic conditions and demographic change, it has to think differently. Solutions to these current urban challenges require an integrated perspective. We need collaboration, utilising the experience of citizens, the knowledge of academic researchers and the know-how of the private sector.

Environmentally sensitive urban growth
livability mobility balance
In the 1930's Hamilton was at the forefront of environmentally sensitive urban design. The city was relatively compact in comparison to today with shops, markets, and work within easy walking distance of our suburbs.

The City's increasing population has seen a sustained period of building development, new subdivision and infill housing over recent years. All of which has led to increased pressure on the city's infrastructure and the local environment.

Healthy ecosystems
land air water life
Hamilton straddles the mighty Waikato River and boasts ten expansive gully systems. In the past these hidden treasures were rich with flora and fauna. Today we have lost most of the plants and animals which made up these once abundant and healthy ecosystems.

Going forward, Hamilton needs to recognise the importance of healthy and functioning ecosystems, continue to value our premier natural assets and embed more sustainable practices into the operation of the city and our every day actions.

Resource conservation
reduce reuse recycle
Historically New Zealand has been blessed with an abundance of natural and physical resources. However, it is a simple fact that today many of these resources are under stress – the water we drink, food we eat, and the energy we use in our day to day life.

We have reached this state through a combination of a growing population and inefficient use of resources.

As a city our attitudes towards resources are changing. We now need to come to terms with the reality of what inefficient resource use will mean for us and work toward intelligent use of our water, waste and energy.

Flagship Projects
The flagship projects represent agreed aligned actions between agency programmes. They are just a start - our first response to some of the pressing issues facing our city. They complement and connect a wide range of projectrs, programmes and actions happening throughout the city and have clear linkages to work occurring in the other key city strategies.

Shared Outcomes

Mobilised responsive communities
We engage all sections of our community to encourage and enable change. Together we…

  • Develop new ways of thinking….
  • Recognise that our personal choices have impacts….
  • Create a culture that advocates for environmental considerations….

Environmentally sensitive urban growth
As our population and city grows, we ensure Hamilton remains a vibrant and sustainable city that is planned for the well-being of our people and the natural environment by…

  • Taking the steps necessary to optimise use of land….
  • Encouraging the conversion of existing buildings and redevelopment of previously developed sites….
  • Promoting land use patterns that facilitate viable sustainable travel….
  • Using our collective influence to ensure development and infrastructure reflect the unique natural character….

Healthy ecosystems
The urban environment, of which we are part, depends on natural cycles and ecosystems. As agencies we work together to restore their function and integrity.

  • The water flowing…. is clean and healthy
  • We have diverse natural ecosystems that function effectively
  • The city has clean air

Resource conservation
We understand resources are becoming scarce. The city's environmental footprint is minimised by ensuring natural and physical resources are used as intelligently as possible. As a community we…

  • Reduce the amount of solid and liquid waste…. and reduce the quantity of waste going to landfill
  • Increase the efficiency with which we use energy
  • Value our precious water and our use reflects this
  • Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions….
  • Take a holistic approach to consumption by considering product origins, processes and the value of the resources used in production processes