Draft OARC Regeneration Plan - 2: Living laboratory

An elderly man and girls looking into a fishing net

Objective: Establish a world-leading living laboratory, where we learn, experiment and research; testing and creating new ideas and ways of living.


Climate change is already impacting on homes and livelihoods

The planet has warmed by around one degree Celsius (°C) since pre-industrial times, mainly due to human greenhouse gas emissions. The world has agreed that we must limit warming to well below 2°C and aim for below 1.5°C. This requires global carbon dioxide emissions to reach net zero by early in the second half of the century, along with significant cuts in other greenhouse gas emissions.

The river corridor as a living example of land and people adapting to sea level rise

The land dropped by about one metre as a result of the Canterbury earthquake sequence. The relationship between the land, water, the sea and the communities that surround it is already changing. It is a unique situation.

In some places we are experiencing now what the rest of the world will experience over the next 50 years.

A large-scale, accessible living laboratory

As a canvas to experiment, research and learn in a live environment at a massive scale, the Living Laboratory offers the following benefits:

  • It is set within a thriving city that already has a culture of innovation.
  • It is surrounded by communities who are already adapting, providing the opportunity to learn in practice, not theory.
  • It is in an area that will regenerate based on ecological uses set in a wetland environment: blue and green infrastructure for the 21st century.


ELEMENTS

Supporting global climate action

Contribute to the global conversation, sharing our lessons and exporting our solutions and innovations to the world. Offer research-led degrees using the Regeneration Area.

Discovery learning and citizen science

Discover with our tamariki, rangatahi and communities ways to live, learn, work and play within our changing environment through opportunities for hands-on discovery. Engage our communities in deciding on our city’s future and shape.

Adapting to our changing climate

Set aside space for public and private innovation and trials of adaptive housing that can provide solutions to the housing challenges we have now, and those we will face in the future.

Technology and innovation proving grounds

Set aside places to research and develop emerging technology that seeks to disrupt our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gases. Integrate technologies into our urban setting and communities.

Getting us to zero carbon in a water-based environment

Develop areas for native ecosystem restoration that sequester carbon and grow biodiversity in an urban river and estuarine environment. Use them to test credible ways of meeting carbon budgets.

Longitudinal research into adapting to climate change

Conduct research and innovation that harnesses academic, commercial and public sector minds along with community perspectives in taking a long-term, sustained focus on real world solutions. Examine how the environment and community respond to sea level rise.

The Ōtākaro Living Laboratory Partnership

In this partnership, communities, researchers, agencies and business learn, test and prototype solutions to issues created by our changing climate.

A diagram illustrating how a range of partners can work together towards a living laboratory

Objective: Establish a world-leading living laboratory, where we learn, experiment and research; testing and creating new ideas and ways of living.


Climate change is already impacting on homes and livelihoods

The planet has warmed by around one degree Celsius (°C) since pre-industrial times, mainly due to human greenhouse gas emissions. The world has agreed that we must limit warming to well below 2°C and aim for below 1.5°C. This requires global carbon dioxide emissions to reach net zero by early in the second half of the century, along with significant cuts in other greenhouse gas emissions.

The river corridor as a living example of land and people adapting to sea level rise

The land dropped by about one metre as a result of the Canterbury earthquake sequence. The relationship between the land, water, the sea and the communities that surround it is already changing. It is a unique situation.

In some places we are experiencing now what the rest of the world will experience over the next 50 years.

A large-scale, accessible living laboratory

As a canvas to experiment, research and learn in a live environment at a massive scale, the Living Laboratory offers the following benefits:

  • It is set within a thriving city that already has a culture of innovation.
  • It is surrounded by communities who are already adapting, providing the opportunity to learn in practice, not theory.
  • It is in an area that will regenerate based on ecological uses set in a wetland environment: blue and green infrastructure for the 21st century.


ELEMENTS

Supporting global climate action

Contribute to the global conversation, sharing our lessons and exporting our solutions and innovations to the world. Offer research-led degrees using the Regeneration Area.

Discovery learning and citizen science

Discover with our tamariki, rangatahi and communities ways to live, learn, work and play within our changing environment through opportunities for hands-on discovery. Engage our communities in deciding on our city’s future and shape.

Adapting to our changing climate

Set aside space for public and private innovation and trials of adaptive housing that can provide solutions to the housing challenges we have now, and those we will face in the future.

Technology and innovation proving grounds

Set aside places to research and develop emerging technology that seeks to disrupt our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gases. Integrate technologies into our urban setting and communities.

Getting us to zero carbon in a water-based environment

Develop areas for native ecosystem restoration that sequester carbon and grow biodiversity in an urban river and estuarine environment. Use them to test credible ways of meeting carbon budgets.

Longitudinal research into adapting to climate change

Conduct research and innovation that harnesses academic, commercial and public sector minds along with community perspectives in taking a long-term, sustained focus on real world solutions. Examine how the environment and community respond to sea level rise.

The Ōtākaro Living Laboratory Partnership

In this partnership, communities, researchers, agencies and business learn, test and prototype solutions to issues created by our changing climate.

A diagram illustrating how a range of partners can work together towards a living laboratory