2040 Vision for Connected City

7 August 2012

Connectedness - in all senses of the word - is important to Wellington's future. It's a key pillar in our city strategy - Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital.

Cy, Y and Kajsa (right) at home in Wellington

Cy, Y and Kajsa (right) at home in Wellington

The strategy takes steps now towards that year - highlighting the city's strengths and the importance of new technologies, particularly ICT and green technologies; protecting and using our natural resources sustainably - a huge drawcard for many people to move here; prosperity; and a focus on information or 'weightless' industries.

As part of this, we have allocated funding through our Long-Term Plan 2012-22 to attract business, talent and investment (including the international education market) to Wellington City. We're also working to get direct flights to Asia from the capital. We see the success of smart businesses creating products, including games, applications, film and web tools, as key to the city's future.

We also want to continue to celebrate diversity, build on our success as New Zealand's creative and events capital, and make our communities, buildings, roads, reservoirs and essential services stronger and more resilient.

We found a family of Wellingtonians who - through their everyday lives - demonstrate what being a connected city means. Kajsa, Cy and Y moved here a few years ago. Having lived in Los Angeles for many years, the couple wanted to move to a safe place with a nice climate, but somewhere that was also a vibrant and fun place to live. They picked Wellington.

Kajsa says they got word of our exciting film industry, and between the beautiful country and small population, they thought it was ideal. "We were beginning to think that LA - with its traffic, smog and over-population - was not where we wanted to raise our family," she says.  "In contrast, Wellington has a really great energy about it - it's never stagnant. We love the vibe here."

Kajsa is a multi award-winning graphic designer, and continues to work for the Hollywood film industry making movie posters from their central city home.

"To enable super-fast internet, we physically installed our own fibre-optic cables connecting our home office to our internet service provider, Knossos Networks. We've also managed to retain our Los Angeles phone number here. That way, my clients don't get charged when they phone.

"We either walk or take the bus everywhere - we choose not to have a car. We love living and walking in the city. The size of Wellington makes everything handy. And being in the capital, we have always found everything IT-related that we've needed here."

You might be asking what 2040 boxes they have ticked?:

  • Living in the inner city
  • Using public transport
  • Working in a 'weightless' industry
  • Having global connections that could be economically beneficial to Wellington
  • Working from home and making their hours suit themselves.

These factors all reflect steps towards our Towards 2040: Smart Capital vision.

We will explain the other 2040 pillars in the coming months:

  • Eco-city
  • People-centred City
  • Dynamic Central City.

You'll find they all fit the same theme - making Wellington the best possible place to live in the world and attract the world's best talent.

How we're connecting Wellington:

  • Sustaining fast growth in digital intensive industries - digital employees in our city have grown five percent since 2009.
  • Facilitating ultra-fast broadband rollout across the city - ensuring businesses, schools and hospitals have access to this technology.
  • Promoting openness - 80 percent of Wellingtonians say diversity makes our city a better place to live and we want to continue to build on this.
  • Providing transport options - with 40 percent of residents walking or using public transport to get to work - choice is important.
  • Attracting long-haul airlines - 700,000 international visitors arrive in our city every year and we want to increase this.