Towards 2040: Smart Capital

Container housing interactive exhibition showing the city in 2040.
Container housing interactive exhibition showing the city in 2040

Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital was developed in 2011 and focuses on the future development of Wellington over the next 30 years.

Towards 2040:

  • builds on Wellington's current strengths
  • acknowledges the challenges the city faces now and over the medium to long term
  • understands the changing role of cities
  • is informed by Wellington's communities
  • is a statement of the future that we want for Wellington and how we believe this can best be achieved.

To read the vision document, refer to:
Plans / Policies - Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital

Or you can download the document direct.

Towards 2040: Smart Capital is the latest chapter in the Council's strategic plan for Wellington - a vision that has been evolving since the early 1990s when the city's transformation was kick-started with the creation of the following strategic vision:
Our City Our Future (1997) (5.2MB PDF)


The vision tells the world what Wellington is about and where the city is headed.

The vision is based on:

  • research on the major trends facing cities around the world, now and in the future
  • conversations with Wellingtonians about what they want for their city
  • a good understanding of where the city is now and where our future opportunities lie.


We need to understand what can make the most contribution to advancing Wellington as the smart capital.

Four goals describe a different way of working - focusing on collaboration, not competition - to build Wellington's resilience in the face of future environmental, economic, and social challenges.

1. People-centred city

Wellington's people are the city's greatest asset. Wellington's shape and character will continue to reflect the people who live in, work in, and visit the city.

Wellington's people-centred city will be healthy, vibrant, affordable and resilient, with a strong sense of identity and 'place'. This will be expressed through urban form, openness and accessibility for its current and future populations.

2. Connected city

As a connected city, Wellington's people, places and ideas access networks - regionally, nationally and globally.

Connections will be:

  • physical - allowing for ease of movement of people and goods
  • virtual - in the form of world-class ICT infrastructure
  • social - allowing people to connect to each other and their communities.

3. Eco-city

Developing Wellington as an eco-city involves a proactive response to environmental challenges. It recognises the importance of Wellington taking an environmental leadership role as the capital city of clean and green New Zealand.

Wellington's many natural assets give the city a head-start and opportunities as part of a green economy.

4. Dynamic central city

As a city with a dynamic centre, Wellington will be a place of creativity, exploration and innovation.

The central city will be a vibrant and creative place offering the lifestyle, entertainment and amenities of a much bigger city.

The central city will continue to drive the regional economy.


More information

Baz Kaufman
Manager Strategy and Research
Phone:   (04) 803 8724