A panel discussion with Angela Foster, Sophie Jerram, Farzad Zamani and Chaired by Robin Simpson.

Cities are diverse landscapes that offer countless opportunities to the lives that inhabit and define them. In 2018, 51.2% of the population lived in the major urban centers in New Zealand. As the growing need for density increases this figure is on the rise.

There is a history that has to be reconciled in Wellington and a future that has to be realised. There are interlocking inequalities that have shaped the city and still hold sway but there is also optimism that we can live better and more justly.

How does Wellington define itself?
What aspirations does it have?
And what is the reality?
Where would you say the center of the city is?
Where do people gather?
Who does the city represent?

City Talks is an ongoing series initiated by the New Zealand Institute of Architects Wellington Branch and presented in partnership with City Gallery.

The talk will be followed by refreshments.

Robin Simpson is a qualified and awarded urban designer and landscape architect, with a 25 year history of practice on large-scale internationally significant sites in New Zealand and Australia specialising in multidisciplinary urban design. Having participated in teams with a range of design processes and roles, Robin provides Urban Design and Landscape Architecture expertise from blue skies thinking, planning, concept development, detail development to implementation of projects. She fosters a collaborative approach amongst disciplines, supported by strong communication and liaison skills.

Angela Foster is one of the founding directors foster + melville Architects (f+mA). Angela and f+mA holds a belief that Architects and Urban Designs hold a unique position to champion active citizens. Angela recently undertook a Masters in the politics of urban design with the intention of being involved in the progression of Wellington’s urban places for people.

Sophie Jerram is an urbanist and social practice curator considering artistic practices in relation to landscape. She is currently Programme Manager of Wellington City Council's new Aho Tini Strategy and Research Fellow, University of Auckland bringing artistic practices together with forest health. Sophie is co-founder of Letting Space, Urban Dream Brokerage, and Vogelmorn Community Group in Wellington.

Farzad Zamani is from the Qashqai tribe, a nomadic tribe in Iran. He completed his bachelor of Architecture in Iran before moving to the UK to complete his Masters. After graduating, he worked in a small architecture firm in Nottingham. He lived his best life there for a while, mainly partying in Nottingham, before moving to Aotearoa New Zealand to do his PhD in Urban Design at the University of Auckland. He analysed the relationship and the conflict between people, power structures and city designers. Two years ago, he moved to Wellington to take up the role of Design Review Team Leader and now he is the acting manager for the City Design Unit at WCC. He feels at home in Wellington, almost patriotically, and he is interested in housing, democratising design processes and urban regeneration.


  • Angela Foster
  • Sophie Jerram
  • Farzad Zamani
  • Chaired by Robin Simpson


  • Free


  • Mon 18 Jul


  • 6:00 pm — 7:00 pm


  • Civic Square, 101 Wakefield Street
  • Wellington 6140