It's Not easy Being Green

Taking steps

One of the key drivers of the Wellington 2040 project has been to consider trends that are likely to play out in the future. The aim has not been to predict the future but instead consider where the combination of trends is likely to create tensions or changes that could plausibly impact on the city.

The research identified six mega trends including:

It’s not easy being green: our response to climate change and environmental degradation will become ever more urgent requiring more personal action, as well as leadership from cities.

Key themes:

  • Cities will be increasingly scrutinised on their green credentials.
  • Green becoming a personal and political responsibility.
  • Cities lead sustainability by changing local behaviour, trialling new technology, and showcasing long term economic benefits.
  • There are jobs in the transition to sustainable practices and in associated intellectual property.
  • Wellington has natural advantages.

Underlying drivers:

  • Growing environmental awareness – expected rather than a marketing fad.
  • Price signals are shifting burden of responsibility onto individuals eg car parking fees to encourage different transport choices.
  • Cities more than central governments will take the lead on local solutions.
  • On-site solutions become viable (eg micro wind power, nanotech) as they lower in cost and make it possible for individual homeowners to be more aware and responsible for their energy footprint.
  • Network infrastructure may become increasingly costly to maintain.

Some emerging futures: