Thursday, July 18, 2024

High praise for Eke Panuku placemaking lead

Place Leaders Asia Pacific have awarded the prestigious Place Leadership 2021 Award to Head of Placemaking for Eke Panuku, Frith Walker.

Established in 2004, Place Leaders Asia Pacific work towards improving the quality of place with a mission to recognise leadership, foster global alliances and promote knowledge exchange for the creation and stewardship of successful public places throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

The Place Leadership Award recognises significant leadership by an individual or a group who has contributed to the advancement of placemaking through raising the national or international profile of placemaking.

When announcing the award, the judges recognised Ms Walker for her collaborative and restorative approach to placemaking, noting it is so relevant to the current times.

They said that over the past 10 years, she had contributed in a visionary way to the development, growth, and advancement of placemaking across the city through the work of her and her team at Eke Panuku, and across the sector in Aotearoa.

Her advocacy includes the development of a local placemaking network in Tāmaki Makaurau, the establishment of a national placemaking collective, and being a champion of regenerative and indigenous placemaking.

At Eke Panuku, Ms Walker and the placemaking team have been the driving force leading the growth and development of placemaking practice, ensuring that place-led thinking is embedded within as many projects from conception through to delivery and beyond.

“We want the neighbourhoods we work for to be the kind of places where people feel a strong relationship to their environment and each other, leading to healthier and more resilient communities,” says Ms Walker.

Her placemaking work within the Wynyard Quarter has laid a foundation for the way the space has developed and is still experienced today, Eke Panuku said in a statement today.

The early development of the Wynyard Quarter Place Programme and adoption of the ‘Do-Learn-Do’ approach to public activity has not only made the Wynyard Quarter an area loved by over 2.1 million residents, workers, and visitors annually, but it is now influencing how surrounding precincts are created, it said.

“Through placemaking, the people of a place need to play a strong cooperative role in the building of their public places. It’s an inclusive approach which can benefit all outcomes, from social, environmental, commercial and everything in between. It’s something we do together,” she said.

“Eke Panuku is incredibly proud of Frith and her placemaking team. Their mahi has brought significant change across the wider Auckland Council family and to our partners by embedding place-led thinking at the core of how Eke Panuku approaches urban regeneration,” Eke Panuku said in a statement.

“This award is a testament to the work that goes into doing better for our city and Eke Panuku look forward to continuing to focus on place as we regenerate neighbourhoods across our city, together.”

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