By using smart sensors and development contracts tied to environmental standards, Auckland is ensuring the climate resilience and energy efficiency of its largest waterfront redevelopment project.

The Challenge

New Zealand is experiencing growth in many urban areas, but development often happens in a haphazard way without consideration for environmental impacts and climate adaptation measures, especially flooding risks. Utilizing neighborhood data and smart infrastructure, Wynyard Quarter is demonstrating replicable practices to both mitigate and adapt to climate change at a district scale.


The Solution

Data capture and reporting through neighborhood-scale smart infrastructure is central to Auckland’s largest urban regeneration project to date: Wynyard Quarter, an 18-hectare former brownfield waterfront site. From the plan’s inception in 2011, the city has enforced strict environmental performance targets and is using state-of-the art sensors to gather detailed data on the project’s goals, including energy efficiency, sustainable transport, and climate adaptation. The data collected will enable the city to monitor the environmental performance of Wynyard Quarter over time. Environmental standards were integrated in the development’s construction contracts to ensure that the city’s goals are met. With these measures, the city wants to reach a respective 48% and 79% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from energy and transport compared to business as usual in Wynyard Quarter. Special attention was also given to the climate resilience of the waterfront project, with the incorporation of sustainable design features like stormwater infrastructure, rainwater harvesting, and waterproof basement pumping stations.


Environmental Benefits - Wynyard Quarter is an old industrial area that was severely contaminated in the past. By improving water quality and remediating the land, the project will help restore the biodiversity and ecology of the area.

Social Benefits - As transparency is one of the stated goals of the redevelopment project, citizens can view the environmental impact of the development in real time on a city website.

Economic Benefits - By 2040, the waterfront redevelopment will contribute $4.29 billion to Auckland’s economy and support 20,000 new full-time jobs in the city.

Health Benefits - Wynyard Quarter aims to have 70% of trips made by walking, cycling, or public transport, fostering a healthier lifestyle for residents.


About Cities100

In its second year, Cities100 – presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation. For the first time, this year’s publication features solutions that address the nexus of climate change and social equity.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2016 publication online here and read more about how may­ors will de­liver the aims of the Paris Agree­ment in a fore­ward by Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris, here.