Bernd's Sketches On Show In France

The Art Cade Gallery in Marseille has invited Bernd to share his architectural sketches for the exhibition "The First Five Minutes". The show focusses on the unique first moments of the design process, when dreams, utopias and desires come together in a most magical, individual starting point of a project.Bernd invites to look into his sketchbook from 2008, when he dreamt of a cloud-shaped airport terminal for Auckland, where passengers would pass through native forests, filled with...

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Sea Level Rise In Florida, New Book With Urbia Group's Help

Urbia Group's unique work on visionary strategies to adapt coastal cities to the impact of sea level rise has been acknowledged worldwide. The collaboration with Mark R. Hafen, University of South Florida, on hard and soft solutions in response to rising oceans has been published in the book "Sea Level Rise In Florida"by University Press of Florida.Florida is one of the most vulnerable areas regarding the effects of climate change. Mark recently told Bernd that he...

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Third Session of the IFGR in Avignon

The IFGR (Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers) convened for their third session in Avignon, France. Within only one year of successful work the IFGR has managed to be endorsed by the COP22, the UN Conference of Parties regarding climate change. Bernd and his fellow members this time focussed on deltas. The session paper will be presented at the COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, on November, 9, when the IFGR will host the event "Rivers: Challenges, Stakes and Solutions in...

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Bernd's Latest Column is Out

The new e-magazine of the New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects brings Bernd's new opinion piece that this time focusses on Christchurch's Residential Red Zone. He emphasises that the area, which currently is vacated, has an immense value as testing ground for new approaches for settlements in fragile coastal areas. Please click here and visit page 10 to have your read....

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Another Talk At Christchurch's Tuesday Club Sparking Debate

After his first talk at the Smash Palace in Christchurch's Tuesday Club in May, Bernd spoke there again on 16 August. This time he emphasised on the Residential Red Zone in East Christchurch. In his address he suggested an international competition similar to the U.S. Solar Decathlon where off-grid demountable stilt-houses should be developed in anticipation of our suburbs in flood-prone areas destined to retreat in a scheduled manner when climate change will hit New Zealand. Read what Garry...

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Another creative day in Christchurch

Hosted by the CEO of Regenerate Christchurch, Ivan Iafeta, Bernd kicked off the day with a briefing meeting there, followed by a presentation to c 50 members of the City Council, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Environment and Regenerate Christchurch. Stakeholder consultations with leaders of East Christchurch's initiatives set focus on the Residential Red Zone, which was also the topic of Bernd's latest session as guest of the Tuesday Club, hosted by Garry Moore...

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Great Feedback From Christchurch's Tuesday Club

Check out how much  Garry Moore, host of the Tuesday Club and former Mayor of Christchurch, enjoyed Bernd's presentation:"To say that our speaker last week gave a remarkable presentation would understate the presentation massively. Bernd has extensive international experience on reconstruction and rebuilding of Cities and neighbourhoods. His focus in recent years has been around climate change and sea level rise. All this knowledge comes from his background as an architect and urban designer. This was the sort...

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Indigenous Endorsement

Adaptive Urbanism strongly refers to deep ecology, enriching the enquiry with the indigenous and the feminine. At Bernd's presentation at Christchurch's Tuesday Club the writer Teoti Jardine, whose tribal affiliations are Waitaha, Kati Mamoe, and Kai Tahu, engaged with him into a discourse. During the Q&A section he emphasised: "Bernd's approach is exactly how our ancestor's stories told us about aligning with nature rather than fighting it, because we are part of it". When strategising...

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Bernd's Mayoral Dinner

When Bernd visited Christchurch he had the particular honour of having dinner with the Mayoress Lianne Dalziel, former three-terms Mayor Garry Moore, who had served 1998-2007, together with their spouses and key-members of Garry's Tuesday Club, where Bernd gave a presentation the next night. These informal meetings are priceless to learn intensely about the needs of the afflicted Cantabrian people as well as to toss around rough ideas for the further recovery at a grand scale. ...

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Bernd Speaks in Christchurch on Monday, 30 May

Regenerate Christchurch invited Bernd to visit Christchurch. Hosted by Prof. Eric Pawson, he will hold the Lunchtime Seminar at the  Geography Department Learning Space, level 3 at the University of Canterbury, 12PM on Monday, 30 May. Beside other consultancy meetings Bernd will also discuss at the Smash Palace - Tuesday Club.Ever since the earthquakes devastated Christchurch in 2010/11, Bernd made left-field contributions on the city's recovery. His particular interest are the subsided areas in East Christchurch along the River Avon...

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Bernd In Canada

As a permanent member of the Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers (IFGR) Bernd travelled to Montreal, Quebec, for the second session of the think tank. Hosted by Port Montreal the college assisted to develop a sustainable growth strategy for the future of the port, the city of Montreal, and the Saint Lawrence River. This session focussed particularly on risk culture and new energy models with regards of rivers. More information available here....

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Bernd is Co-Author of Column in France's Le Figaro about COP21

"We have forgotten the rivers!The atmosphere has changed since the failure of the previous COP six years ago at Copenhagen.The sceptics have laid down their arms, vanquished by the evidence. Yes, the climate isundergoing changes the causes of which no one disputes the many origins, and YES, humanactivities are participating in this degradation. Yes, we must act quickly before the spiral into whichwe are drawn becomes as dangerous as it is uncontrollable. ...The task is huge. Let us...

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Urbia Group is Co-Signatory of Paris Pact on Water

Along the COP21 Climate Summit NGOs formulated the Paris Pact on water and adaptation in climate change in the basins of rivers, lakes, and aquifers. The purpose of this “Paris Pact” is to provide recommendations of actions that should be undertaken without delay at the most relevant scale for water management adaptation to climate change – i.e., the basins of lakes, rivers, and aquifers. The Pact also calls for actions of basin organisations and other relevant institutions (e.g., go...

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Auckland's Waterfront Wins Award in the United States

The successful work of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) contributed to Auckland's Wynyard Quarter being endorsed with the Excellence on the Waterfront Award in the Comprehensive Plans Category given by the Waterfront Centre in Washington DC. Bernd has been working with Panuku Development Auckland (formerly Waterfront Auckland) since 2012 and was appointed member of TAG earlier this year focussing on urban design in the face of climate change.The award acknowledges the overall design...

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The Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers

This new action group that unites members from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Bernd from New Zealand sharing their expertise about rivers. The first session took place in its HQ in Lyon, France. The discourse, lead by Academie Française member Eric Orsenna, was focussed on river ecology, river urbanism, hydropower, navigation, and irrigation. The group wants to put rivers on the agenda of the COP21 climate summit in Paris in November/December. T...

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Landscape Architecture New Zealand brings Bernd's new column

"Bright lights, big city" is the title of Bernd's latest opinion piece for Landscape Architecture NZ No. 27, which is out now. It tackles the unnoticed replacement of the old high-pressure sodium street lights with cold beam 4000˚Kelvin-LEDs, that will change the sensual experience of urban nights forever.The council technocrats excluded lighting designers from this massive operation, which will make Auckland city nights soon as romantic and atmospheric as an open fridge. Bernd asks: how does a k...

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Bernd Appointed Member of New French Think Tank

The role of the Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers is to develop a transversal and multi-disciplinary view on the issues about rivers in order to build a holistic and collective vision of the river of tomorrow. The observatory is entrusted with three missions:- Nourish a prospective reflection of the future of rivers;- Collect and share international best practice in river management;- Improve our understanding, and challenge our current actions and methodologies.The college will meet...

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L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui Features Bernd

In 2013, Ban Ki-moon, General Secretary of the UN, defined climate change as “the single greatest long-term threat to our survival”. Natural disasters and soil sealing in urban areas has led to increasing flood vulnerability. If classical hard engineering solutions are not to be disregarded, backing them up with soft ecosystem measures seems to be a path followed by many experts. Often inspired by traditional practices, these measures illustrate a changing perception of water, seen not only as a menace but as a...

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Bernd's Interior Column #15 Out Now

His column is tackling the scandalous waste of NZ Graduate's youthful creativity by forcing them to engage their prime with the tedium of registration. To illustrate what we're losing the column features Adrian Kumar's powerful design for Auckland's recovery from sea-level rise with inhabited landscaped decks utilising the submerging office towers as base structure, done in our legendary Masters seminar in 2012. Among the students Bernd mentored his yelp has already been widely appreciated. Given the uncertainties...

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2015 Pritzker Prize for Frei Otto

How is this terrific news related to Urbia Group? Very simply, as the award's jury said in its citation, Frei Otto "has embraced a definition of architect to include researcher, inventor, form-finder, engineer, builder, teacher, collaborator, environmentalist, humanist, and creator of memorable buildings and spaces." It is his fully integrated work-ethos that is essential for Urbia Group as well. Frei Otto's unique way has become visible for many, when he was co-creator of the Olympic venues of Munich, Germany,...

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Bernd Advises Waterfront Auckland

Waterfront Auckland has appointed Bernd member of its Technical Advisory Group. Waterfront Auckland takes care of Auckland's 3,200 km of coasts.This is another accolade for Urbia Group's unique skill set and expertise related to coastal urban environments. Bernd's appointment is intended to support and reinforce the holistic and integrated approaches necessary to the delivery of exemplar outcomes in accordance with Auckland's Waterfront Plan....

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Urbia Group's Advice is Appreciated At High Places

The office of the Commissioner for the Environment of New Zealand's government ensured in a video conference that Urbia Group's expertise will be available in the future. The Commissioner works on the release of the second tome of a report focussing on the state of both awareness and preparedness of New Zealand's authorities concerning sea-level rise. Bernd shared his insight and how Urbia Groups Adaptive Urbanism can help to move forward. Bernd's advice has been sought for years,...

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L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui Invites Bernd to Debate About Water & Cities

The theme of the upcoming issue of the major French magazine will be 'water and cities'. The recent paradigm-change regarding water in urban and architectural policies has transformed water into a factor of urban resilience. Urbia Group's Adaptive Urbanism is well known in France because of Bernd's Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in May 2014. Thus he will participate in a conversation with two other international experts. L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui #406 will be issued in April 2015....

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Bernd's 'Interior' Column #14 Out Now

This time Bernd addresses New Zealand's prime environmental challenge: the unprecedented loss of its unique biodiversity. He has been regular columnist for the Interior magazine for over two years and always has his own pick on hot topics, which he investigates from his special angle. Bernd wrote this column under the impression of the last conference of the Environmental Defence Society (EDS) in Auckland, where he presented Urbia Group's Adaptive Urbanism. Directly after...

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Urbia Group on TV

Last year Bernd was starring in the programme Ports d'Attache about Auckland produced by the Canadian TV5. You can see it here until 1 April 2015.Bernd focuses on Auckland's intersection between the city's setting at the Waitemata Harbour, the Maori legacy, and the opportunities he derives from this unique propositions. Bernd's message: Auckland will be the world's most liveable city, when it develops its potential wisely....

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Download New Booklet: Climate Resilient Christchurch

Check out Urbia Group's world award winning concept of Adaptive Urbanism applied to Christchurch. The Rockefeller Foundation choose the city as one of the first exemplars for resilient cities. Since Mike Mallooly's appointment as Chief Resilience Officer there is a significant momentum built up to explore the most efficient means of creating climate resilience.Urbia Group suggests to retreat from areas prone to liquefaction and inundation and re-develop these zones as vast 'Green Heart' that emulate Nature's one means of...

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Urbia Group Invited to Auckland Council Natural Hazards Group Meeting

Bernd spoke about the crucial importance of bringing the people with us. In times when Climate Change becomes tangible, social resilience enables communities to both being better prepared for and recovering stronger from potential natural disasters.This meeting was an activity along Urbia Group's ongoing role to advise Auckland Council on managing the effects of Climate Change. Especially the impact of sea-level rise according to the latest scientific enquiry is of great concern for the...

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Urbia Group featured on NewstalkZB Radio

Urbia Group on the radio again. Bernd gives a statement on Auckland waterfront's vulnerability to Climate Change and sea-level rise. He aires his creative ideas how to increase resilience, improve biodiversity, and boost urban coastal lifestyle with Urbia Group's soft, ecosystem-based approach to coastal adaptation in the context of Auckland, New Zealand, where the three-yearly State of the Environment Report was presented to the Hauraki Gulf Forum today. ...

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Urbia Group and the Climate Council of Australia on Air

Bernd and Prof. Will Steffen, Climate Councillor with the Climate Council of Australia, are featured in a radio broadcast aired 17 September on The Wire, which reaches 5 million people via community and Indigenous radio stations around Australia.Will states the the continent is highly vulnerable to increasing sea level rises due to the huge population living on the coast. The Climate Council of Australia stresses that the country is not prepared for the predicted sea level rise which could cause billions...

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Floods, Sweat & Tears

This is the title of an article in the Sunday Star Times issue on 14 September 2014. A full page of somber new scientific data post the latest IPCC report, of homeowners believing they can fight sea-level rise in courts, and of an inactive government a week before general election. The article has an optimistic end though, because it features Urbia Group's unique approach to combine heightened resilience, replenished biodiversity, and improved coastal lifestyle for communities taking action...

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Waterfront Auckland's Climate Change Adaptation Pathway

Yesterday's half day workshop attended by the Board, the CEO, and senior staff of Waterfront Auckland and Auckland Council concluded the peer review of the WA's Climate Change Adaptation Pathway. The selected peer review panel:Professor Martin Manning – Victoria University Climate Change Research InstituteDr Rob Bell – Principal Scientist, NIWAJudy Lawrence – Adjunct Research Associate, Victoria University Climate Change Research InstituteBernd Gundermann – Urbia GroupNew Zealand's leading climate scientists contributed the latest available findings about expected sea-level rise and Bern...

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Booklets, the New Outreach

Booklets, these handy packages of compact information Urbia Group has developed for years, have made their way to Europe. Our colleague Philippe Samyn from Brussels announced today the issue of his first one featuring Vertical Cities.Bernd and Philippe are members of the Global Award community. He invited Bernd to speak to the Royal Academy of Belgium. Both share the interest in holistic approaches to sustainable architecture as well as promoting ideas in nice, succinct formats. Philippe...

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Urbia Group At Auckland Council

This morning Bernd presented Urbia Group's unique way to environmentally sound resilience to Auckland Council's Environment, Climate Change and Natural Heritage Committee. Invited by the committee's Chairman Cr Wayne Walker this was a perfect opportunity to implement our thinking prior to the council's workshop about sea-level rise taking place this afternoon.Beside working with Waterfront Auckland, another member of the council family, this presentation marks the begin of a long-term work relationship intended to make Auckland...

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Good Stuff

New Zealand's mayor online news agency stuff.co.nz interviewed Bernd after his presentation at the EDS Conference. His message: Climate Change won't be threatening, when we embark on the journey to soft resilience to the effects of Climate Change now.Stuff.co.nz:"Will Aucklanders walk on water?" - "Yes, we can." is Urbia Group's resounding response!Bernd outlines Auckland's possible future as world-leading coastal city with softened shores, artificial islands, and high-rise buildings on stilts over wetlands in...

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Urbia Group on Australian Radio

At the press conference after the reception of the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in Paris Bernd gave an interview for ABC. He describes more sustainable alternatives to private ownership of land, how soft methods of urban resilience to sea-level rise raises the liveability of our cities and other aspects of Urbia Group's unique work....

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Urbia Group Featured in ArchitectureNow

Bernd, the founder of Urbia Group, was recently endowed with the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture. The post on Auckland's Architecture&Design blog ArchitectureNow explores, how this relates to other aspects of the design world such as interiors, which were a main field of Bernd's interest in recent years. To read this short piece click HERE....

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Global Award winner for Sustainable Architecture

Bernd Gundermann has been awarded this year's Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in Paris. The ceremony in the Cité de l'Architecture was part of LOCUS Foundation's conference. Bernd's lecture on Adaptive Urbanism, which found resounding applause, also let Europe know about the establishment of Urbia Group. Beside Bernd four colleagues were awarded as well: Tatiana Bilbao, Mexico City, Martin Rajnis, Prague, West8, Rotterdam, and Christopher Alexander, who unfortunately couldn't attend, for his lifetime achievements....

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Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2014

Bernd has been nominated for the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2014. He is currently in Paris, where he will receive the honour from the Minister of Culture of France on 19 May. He will also give a lecture on Adaptive Urbanism at the Cite de l'Architecture & du Patrimoine in the Palais Chaillot.The award has received the Patronage of the UNESCO in 2011. It annually awards five architects, who share the ethics of sustainable development. This year's laureates, are beside Bernd Gundermann,...

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