Our City Tomorrow

In 2017, we started a conversation with Wellingtonians about the future of our central city. We asked how we should respond to three challenges facing the city.

Evening city lights.


Our population is moving

Up to 280,000 people are expected to call Wellington home by 2043. That will have a dramatic effect on the way our city looks, feels and operates – both in the central city and in our suburbs.

The sea and the climate are moving

As a coastal city built on a harbour, we are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – particularly rising sea levels and severe weather events. 

The earth is moving

The November 2016 earthquake highlighted vulnerabilities in the central city. As we move through the recovery period, we have a window of opportunity to influence, inform, and support projects that will shape our city centre. 

What did we do?

We ran six stakeholder workshops during October and November 2017. Potential future scenarios were identified, reflecting Wellington as a place where people are put first in planning considerations, the city is accessible and connections are easily made.
Workshops Overview Report  (651KB PDF)

We provided information on the Our City Tomorrow project in a container in Civic Square, where we had conversations with a wide range of Wellingtonians about how they see the future of our city.

We ran an online survey to encourage Wellingtonians to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the city – including population growth, climate change, and earthquakes.The survey covered topics related to central city growth and better preparedness in the face of climate change and earthquake risks.
Engagement Report  (338KB PDF)

What did we find?

We received feedback from a wide variety of Wellingtonians who shared their aspirations for the city they want to live in. These insights have helped drive our decision-making, starting with our Long-term Plan 2018-28 – but this is just the start of the conversation. 

5 themes

From your feedback, 5 key themes for the city emerged – Wellington should be:

  • compact
  • inclusive and connected
  • greener
  • resilient
  • vibrant and prosperous. 

You can read more about what these mean in our summary report: Our City Tomorrow - What's Next?  (372KB PDF) | Text version  (96KB RTF)