Conversation with Ryan Gravel

Where we want to live: Catalysing a new generation of cities







Thursday 29 June 2017
6:00 – 7.30pm
The Piano, 156 Armagh Street

Over one hundred people gathered at The Piano on Thursday night to hear Ryan Gravel, a US urban planner, designer and author talk about how cities can be regenerated by transformative projects. Ryan spoke of several bold urban regeneration projects that have taken place in USA and Singapore, and how they can be seen as representative of a cultural movement that is reshaping the way we build cities – into places where we want to live.

Click here to watch video of his full presentation.


Ryan Gravel is an urban planner, designer, and author working on infrastructure, concept development, and policy as the founder of Sixpitch. His master’s thesis launched the Atlanta Beltline, which through fifteen years of progress, is now changing both the physical form of his city and the decisions people make about living there. Alongside other projects at Sixpitch and research on similar “catalyst infrastructure” projects around the world, Ryan’s book, “Where We Want to Live,” (St. Martin’s Press, 2016), investigates this cultural side of infrastructure, describing how its intimate relationship with our way of life can illuminate a brighter path forward for cities.

The Atlanta Beltline was born in academia as a simple idea for a better way of life. Now, it’s a $4 billion infrastructure project in the early stages of implementation. Its original author, Ryan Gravel, will describe for Christchurch how this catalyst project came to life, what it means, and why it matters. Building on the title of his new book, Where We Want to Live, Gravel will expand on these ideas, sharing how similarly-transformative projects – from the Rail Park in Singapore to the concrete Los Angeles River – represent a new kind of cultural momentum that will reshape the way we build cities. He’ll conclude with current work on the Atlanta City Design, a daunting endeavour to go deeper than the Atlanta Beltline and discover the city’s civic identity. By organising around its core values, the city will ensure that its anticipated growth will deliver the best version of Atlanta, not some other place that people don’t like or recognise anymore.

Christchurch Conversations is a forum for thought leaders and the public to spark ideas about the city’s future. With conversations underway about the future of the red zone, Ryan’s experiences will be interesting and relevant – and we want you as part of this discussion.


This event is brought to you by Regenerate Christchurch in partnership with Te Pūtahi – Christchurch centre for architecture and city-making and Christchurch City Council.

Date: July 04, 2017