Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainable Urban Design
Ko te tapu o te whenua ko te tapu o tetangata
It is the sacred land that’s the sacred person
Attended a fascinating exploration of sustainable and regenerative design referencing pre-contact Maori built environments sponsored by the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities. The goal is to develop architectural and urban design strategies that are not energy or resource neutral but rather generative producers (of energy, ecological habitat, food and water) linked into the energy and resource flows of the surrounding environment.
What resonated most is a series of Maori design principles shared by Amanda Yates and Shaun Awatere:
- Kotahitanga – Cohesion and collaboration. Collective cooperative and eﬀective partnerships and collaboration with community.
- Wairuatanga – Embedded emotion and spirit.
Everything should support our spiritual well being and consciousness. Emotional connection with the environment that links people.
- Manaakitanga – Hospitality and security.
Embracing and welcoming visitors, and protection and security of community.
- Whanaugatanga – Participation and membership in the community and social setting
- Kaitiakitanga – Sustainable resource management. Protection of signiﬁcant landscape features and natural enviornment.
- Rangatiratanga – Leadership, identity, self-determination. Community can lead and take responsibility for creating and determining their own future.
- Matauranga – Knowledge and understanding. Understanding of community history, identities, character.
- Orangatanga – Maintain health and well being
- Mauritanga – Essence or life-force of a natural environment. To identify and promote the maintenance or restoration of a mauri (the life force which all objects contain). e.g. rain-tank collection systems, grey-water recycling systems, passive solar design.
In addition to enjoying the presentations, this was the first event I attended with the Livescribe, an amazing pen/paper system that records notes as you take them and allows you to play them back. Both the presentations and my full notes with audio are available online:
- Amanda Yates, registered architect and academic: Micro-urbanism: the Maori pā and architecture as a generative landscape PDF, Livescribe pencast
- Shaun Awatere (Ngati Porou) is a resource economist: Developing Maori urban design principles PDF, Livescribe pencast
- Wiki Walker, Ngati Hine, Manukau City Council Environmental Policy Planner (tangata whenua): Tangata Whenua and the landscape PDF, Livescribe pencast
- Ngarimu Blair, is a Trustee on the Ngati Whatua o Orakei Maori Trust Board: Orakei papakainga PDF, Livescribe pencast
Further reading: Ngā hua papakāinga: Habitation design principles by Shadrach Rolleston and Shaun Awatere