SDC Resilience Summit 2011


Attendance at Sustainable Dunedin City’s Resilience Summit 2011 is by invitation.

Background reading can be found here:

Bob Lloyd’s Peak Oil & Implications for Dunedin Document (PDF 1.2MB, new window)

Susan Krumdiek’s Peak Oil Vulnerability Assesment for Dunedin (PDF, 1.2 MB, new window)

Professor Blair Fitzharris’s report for the DCC: Climate Change: Impacts on Dunedin (PDF, 1.3MB, new window)

The DCC’s Spatial Plan; Dunedin Towards 2050 can be downloaded from this page, from 2 November.

The DCC’s Community Plan 2009/10 – 2018/19, contains information about community outcomes and what the council intends to do over the next 10 years.

Council’s other planning documents can be found here.

Event Information:

Resilience Summit 2011: Shaping Dunedin’s Sustainable Future

Date: Tuesday, 8th November

Time: 3pm – 7pm

Venue: Conference Room and Auditorium, 3rd floor, Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Concluding with: Informal opportunities to network over drinks and nibbles

Please Note: Attendance at Sustainable Dunedin City’s Resilience Summit 2011 is by invitation.

The aim is to map a highly sustainable, low-carbon, resilient Dunedin. Examining practical, creative solutions to the unprecedented challenges of climate change and peak oil. A wealth of knowledge and ideas already exists in Dunedin. But creating a genuinely sustainable city will draw on all our combined resources and then some.

The Summit will bring together representatives of business, education, iwi, local government, community groups and health services to discuss such future scenarios as

· energy price rises

· the downside of reliance on coal

· the effects of climate change and declining energy supply on transport and food supply

· sea-level rise

· ideas for creating self-sufficient communities.

Links to three major reports—Professor Blair Fitzharris on impacts due to Climate Change (2010), Associate Professor Susan Krumdieck on Peak Oil Vulnerability (2010), and Associate Professor Bob Lloyd on peak oil and the economy (2010)—together with important DCC planning documents including the Spatial Plan and Long-Term Plan, will be uploaded on this page before the event.

A limited number of hard copies of the Fitzharris and Krumdieck reports will be available at the Summit.

Outcomes include:

· improved understanding of DCC planning strategies, such as the 30-year Spatial Plan and the Long-Term Plan

· delivery of a Summit Charter to the DCC for consideration in their long term planning processes

· wider recognition of the existing wealth of knowledge about adapting to energy price rises and climate change effects

· compiling a database of the expertise and ideas already available in Dunedin.

Much of the visioning and research has already been done. What we need to do now is to work together constructively for Dunedin’s long-term future.


MC: Michael Deaker

1.00-3.00: registration, scenarios, and drinks

3.00-3.15: participants arrive at ODT space outside Conference Room, 3rd floor DPAG

3.15-4.00: Conference Room; three models of sustainability projected (Maureen); speakers 10-15 minutes each.

Dr Janet Stephenson, a social scientist with a particular interest in societal responses to environmental challenges, is Director of the newly-named Centre for Sustainability which focuses on agriculture, food, energy and environment. She is the co-leader of the 3-year “Energy Cultures” research programme, an interdisciplinary project investigating household energy behavior. She has recently completed a study “Social Acceptance of Renewable Electricity Developments in New Zealand,” for EECA. She has researched and written on people’s perceptions of landscapes, and is co-editor of two recent books “Beyond the Scene – Landscape and Identity in Aotearoa New Zealand” and “Making Our Place – exploring land use tensions in Aotearoa New Zealand.” She is also involved in research on the management of resources in which Maori have a particular interest, and co-leader of a Marsden-funded project looking at the experiences of kaitiaki in managing mahinga kai. She is a member of the Otago Energy Research Centre and a founding trustee of the National Energy Research Institute.

Dr Sue Bidrose has been at Dunedin City Council for one year, prior to which she was a Director at Waitakere City Council in Auckland’s west. Having spent that time as Strategy director in New Zealand’s Eco City, Sue has a keen interest in environmental sustainability. For several years she has, for local government, championed the links between community and environment, and has a particular interest in good urban planning for both economic and environmental wellbeing. Sue will talk about some of the projects on the go at Dunedin City Council that have the potential to impact on the sustainability of the City and its residents. She will particularly talk about the Spatial Plan and the principles that underpin it, and outline what Council hopes to achieve with the spatial plan – which is officially launched for consultation on 9 November, the day following this summit.

Alec Dawson writes, “I’m a 20-year old law and arts student in my third year at the University of Otago, and I’ve lived in Dunedin my whole life. Although I published writing on the environment in the past in the ODT, my major involvement in sustainability is with Generation Zero, a new youth movement hoping to initiate Government action on climate change, with a particular focus on intergenerational justice. The movement arises out of frustration at the lack of action by the New Zealand Government on trying to prevent climate change, and in the short term is focused on young voters making voting choices on the basis of which parties have better climate change policy. Since our launch in July, we have held public lectures and panel discussions, interviewed politicians on their environmental stances, and launched a campaign to have young people declare their support by putting up Generation Zero posters in their flats. My personal involvement in the organisation has been promoting the issue in schools and making sure school leavers are enrolled to vote, and producing the Generation Zero promotional video.”

4.00-4.50: Facilitated Discussion Process in Conference Room and Auditorium

4.50- 5.00: all groups move to Auditorium

5.00-5.10: develop three main points for reporting to the wider group.

5:00-5.45: Reporting back

5.45-6.00: wrap-up and thanks [Michael]

6.00-7.00 [optional]: further discussion over drinks in space behind Auditorium on Moray Place side

Future Scenarios, Resilience Summit 2011

Energy and the Economy

Summary: [Associate Professor Bob Lloyd, Physics Department, University of Otago]

The difficulty with energy resources, which differentiates them from other mineral resources, is that they cannot be extracted at lower and lower concentrations, because once the energy needed to make the energy transforming devices becomes greater than the useful energy obtained, there will be a net energy loss.

Up until recently the availability of fossil fuels has not been a problem and the high energy returned on energy invested (EROEI) for coal, oil and gas have ensured continued world economic growth for the last 200 years or so. The energy returned on energy invested is the amount of oil (or rather energy) that is needed to extract and process oil from the oil from the reserve base. The early oil in the US in the 1930s and oil up to the present, in parts of the Middle East, was very easy to get, having an EROEI of around 50 to 1 or greater. That is, it took only one barrel of oil to extract and process 50 barrels; a very favourable ratio. That good fortune along with ratios of up to 80:1 for coal meant that high economic growth rates could be maintained during most of the 20th Century.

But oil is now getting more difficult to extract with EROEI ratios closer to 12:1 for deep sea oil and even lower for non conventional oils such as the Canadian tar sands (4:1). The difficulties in the Gulf of Mexico with BP’s well drilled in 5000 feet of water and going down to 30,000 feet illustrate the risk and energy needed in the extraction process. A peak oil commentator, Richard Heinberg, recently suggested that the 2010 problems in the Gulf of Mexico will be typical of the difficulties of extracting oil, post peak. And we may now have reached peak oil.

Thus the question to answer is what will happen to the world economy in times of declining energy supplies?

Questions for Discussion:

1. How can local communities enter the energy supply business, e.g. by energy substitution activities such as plantation waste biomass to replace other forms of heating supply for public buildings and residential dwellings; encouraging solar hot water systems and hot water heat pumps; and encouraging insulation retrofits for residential housing? What other opportunities are there for new and existing businesses and resultant employment to satisfy the changed demands of these new cultures?

2. How can the community encourage local participation in the transformation process from pre-peak oil high growth, high waste, high level of consumerism to a steady state economy with low levels of consumerism, low waste and fun community activities that don’t use anything other than personal energy?

3. Coal is recognised as a time-bomb because of its dangerous levels of emissions. If we abandon it as an energy source, what alternatives, incentives and opportunities do you see?

Future Scenarios, Resilience Summit 2011

Transport in Dunedin

Summary: [Phil Cole, engineer, MWH Ltd.]

The movement of people and goods is vital to the future well-being of Dunedin but its future will be very different to the Dunedin of the present due to economic and social conditions.

The rise in the cost of living index together with the decline in the availability of cheap oil will have a profound effect on Dunedin and its people. In its current form, the ability to move around the city and its environs will be curtailed and its economic output will decline.

Our existing road and transport infrastructure is based on the primary use for the private motor vehicle and the transport of goods. However, these rely on oil to fuel them and to make their parts move. Oil is also a vital component used in the process of making bitumen, the top coating of most roads.

For the private vehicle, electrical alternatives are at present too expensive; bio-fuel cannot be produced in sufficient quantities without affecting food crops, and no suitable replacement for petrol is available. The global economic crisis has given Dunedin an opportunity to plan for a new transport system that will meet the requirements of its people based on the reality of the situation over the next twenty years (to 2030).

The existing road hierarchy needs to change gradually, taking into effect the rising cost of private transport with the need to replace it with a fully-functional public transport system that meets and serves the needs of the people of Dunedin. Public transport, cycling and pedestrians must have priority over the private car as travelling habits change to meet the reality of a world affected by dwindling fuel supplies and economic reality. This should not, however, give a ‘carte-blanche’ to any public transport / cycling / pedestrian projects; they will all be accountable to the economic reality of the situation Dunedin — and New Zealand in general — finds itself in.

Questions for Discussion:

1. Private motor vehicles will become prohibitive due to fuel, running costs and the rise in the cost of living. How will we adapt our lifestyle to compensate for the loss of freedom that private vehicles bring?

2. How can we develop an integrated transport system that caters equally for public transport, pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, and encourages motorists to change to other forms of transport?

3. How will the organisation you work for, as well as industry in general, adapt to the constraints that high fuel prices and lack of personal mobility place on the workforce? Or will we achieve continued personal mobility through use of other fuels?

Future Scenarios, Resilience Summit 2011

Climate Change Impacts on Dunedin

Summary: [Emeritus Professor Blair Fitzharris, Geography Department, University of Otago,

Convening Lead Author, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group II (The Cryosphere and Polar Regions) 1992-2001]

Current best estimates of projected climate change for Dunedin City are

Decade about, Temperature (oC), Rainfall (%), Sea level (m)

2040, + 0.7 to + 1.1, -5 to +5, + 0.1 to + 0.3

2090, +0.8 to +2.5, -5 to +15, + 0.2 to + 1.6*

In their Fourth Assessment Report, IPCC suggest +0.6 m for the upper limit of sea level rise, but more recent research suggests a value of +1.6 m would be more prudent.

The factors controlling the climate of Dunedin will largely stay the same as at present. The weather will remain changeable. After the 2040s, what is currently regarded as an unusually warm year will have become the norm. Risks from frost and low level snow storms will markedly decrease. Intensity of design rainfall events will become about 20% greater, leading to higher storm runoff, but with lower river levels between events. Larger floods are expected, especially with a likely increase in the frequency of subtropical storms. Surface flooding and salinity will become more problematic in low-lying areas as the 21st century progresses.

Main Sectors of Dunedin City at Risk from Projected Climate Change

1. Low lying densely populated urban areas, especially South Dunedin.

2. Coasts, especially near estuaries, and their communities.

3. Major transport infrastructure, mainly harbour roads and railway, but including Dunedin Airport.

4. Dunedin Airport from enlarged tides and more flooding.

5. Natural ecosystems.

Main Sectors of Dunedin City to Benefit from Projected Climate Change

1. Agriculture and forestry due to longer and better growing seasons, less frost and increased rainfall.

2. Energy use, due to reduced demand in winter.

3. More comfortable and outdoor living as people benefit from warmer weather.

4. The water resources from increased stream flows.
Hotspot areas of Dunedin City especially vulnerable to climate change
1. The South Dunedin urban area, including the St Clair and St Kilda shoreline
2. Harbour side shoreline, including the entrance to Otago Harbour
3. The lower Taieri Plain, especially Dunedin Airport
4. Populated estuaries along the Pacific coast
5. Conservation lands of upland regions

Questions for Discussion:

1. The Fitzharris report predicts rises in both temperature and rainfall for Dunedin. How can we make best use of both?

2. More frequent extreme weather events: what can we do to mitigate their effects?

3. How can local communities ensure their water and wastewater systems have a high level of resilience?

Future Scenarios, Resilience Summit 2011

Dunedin Sea Level Rise

Summary: [Emeritus Professor Blair Fitzharris, Geography Department, University of Otago and Jocelyn Harris, co-chair, Sustainable Dunedin City]

Sea level rise is almost certain to be ongoing (Fitzharris, 30).

The International Panel of Climate Change report (2007) predicted a very probable 0.5m rise by 2090, but that could rise to 1.6m by 2090 due to greater-than-expected melting in the western parts of Antarctica and Greenland (Fitzharris, 15-16, 4, 22).

With climate change, intensity of rainfall events will increase, leading to “chronic” surface flooding and salinity of aquifers (Fitzharris, 4, 28). Storm surges and king tides will magnify their effects on stormwater and sewerage systems (Fitzharris, 23, 37).

Low-lying “hotspots” are Waldronville, St Kilda, St Clair, South Dunedin, Waitati, Warrington, Karitane, Waikouaiti, Purakanui, Peninsula Road, Portsmouth Drive, and Lower Taieri plain including Dunedin Airport.

Worst-case scenarios that include the melting of all sea and glacial ice put figures for sea-level rise very much higher: see Fitzharris, 15.

Decade about, Sea level (m)

2040, + 0.1 to + 0.3

2090, + 0.2 to + 1.6*

Questions for Discussion:

1. How to deal with sea-level rise, especially in low-lying areas such as St Kilda, St Clair, South Dunedin, Peninsula Road, Portsmouth Drive, airport?

2. How to protect coastal roads, communities and railways?

3. A flood of climate refugees comes from Australia and the Pacific. How do we meet their needs and turn this extra population to our advantage?

Future Scenarios, Resilience Summit 2011

Resilience in Food Supply

Summary: [Dr Paul Stock, CSAFE, University of Otago]

As we contemplate the future of New Zealand and more philosophically, our civilisation, we are confronted with the necessity of providing enough food. But just thinking about enough food turns food into a technical issue, when in reality, in any neighborhood, city, region, family, country or time, food carries more than just calories. Food carries with it tradition, stories, heritage, politics and much more.

In this framework, New Zealand’s desire to preserve its land and marine production of food thrives. On the land, the heritage of sheep and beef farming invoke more than just dollar signs and exchange rates or frozen meat shipments leaving the Port Chalmers dock — they signify generations, personal achievement, a frontier spirit, autonomy and success. More recently, dairy farming found a way to turn New Zealand grass into white gold along with creating a new avenue into rural jobs and rural citizenship. These are vital and important developments in New Zealand’s food production.

Those of us who live in wealthy countries often take for granted that access to financial resource guarantees access to food. But disasters like the Rena, the Christchurch earthquake, drought in Northland, and the Maui gas leak illustrate how delicate some of our systems truly are. Resilience as individuals, as communities, and as a country within a web of other systems is paramount.

A balance between production for export and self-sufficiency for food security must be struck. The development of national or regional food plans like Australia and Scotland have been working on might prove instructive. Those plans illustrate the various ways to ensure food security and food sovereignty issues. Maori ecological knowledge and food ways prove instructive and a clarion call for those who try to separate the daily life of people and our lives within and dependent upon natural resources. We cannot take for granted that policies about marine fisheries, forests, land and agriculture will automatically add up to available, appropriate and resilient food systems. It is something we have to actively cultivate. It’s time to dig in.

Retail and agriculture will be “hit by a secondary dependence on oil. Retail will be hit because of its dependence on sophisticated just-in-time deliveries (transport), and agriculture because of its dependence on oil-based crop and soil treatment products as well as well as fuels for cultivation and produce transport” (“The Oil Crunch: A wake-up call for the UK economy”, UK Government report, February 2010, cited Lloyd, 17).

Questions for Discussion:

1. How to ensure the security of land-based production?

2. How can communities encourage local food production?

3. Acidification, pollution, exploitation, and degradation of ocean: how to protect marine food supply?