Keynote presenters

Mark Ames, Strategic Cities

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Mark Ames established Strategic Cities in 2015, offering media management and communications advice to clients who deliver urban change.

He has hosted workshops on building public support for change for the councils of the cities of Adelaide, Vincent and Valencia, to Boffa Miskell, Auckland Transport and the University of Amsterdam.

He’s delivered keynote addresses to the New Zealand Universal Design Conference, the Australian Bicycle Summit and the Velo-City Global cycling conference in the Netherlands in 2017.

Mark has previously written about cities, cycling and managing change in The Times, The Guardian, the London Evening Standard, Western Australia Today, Landscape Architecture NZ and The Planner, the magazine of Britain’s Royal Town Planning Institute.

Broadcast appearances include Sky News, ITV News, BBC London, ABC 702 Sydney, Russia Today, Perth Talk Radio, Public Radio International’s The World, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s As It Happens and the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Newsnight.

He’s worked with activists, planners and politicians to help deliver difficult active transport projects, including the Mayor of London’s £1 billion Cycle Vision for London and the City of Sydney’s new Cycling Strategy and Action Plan.

Mark believes understanding the media production process is a vital and underestimated skill for anyone delivering change in cities today.

He lives in Sydney, Australia and owns too many bicycles.

Connect with Mark at or via Twitter @StrategicCities

Isabel Dedring, Arup

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Isabel Dedring is the Global Transport Leader at Arup where she is responsible for driving the development of the firm’s business across the transport sector. Isabel joined Arup in March 2016 from London's City Hall, where she was Deputy Mayor for Transport and Deputy Chair of Transport for London. In this capacity she was responsible for setting policy and ensuring delivery across the Mayor’s transport portfolio. Key projects she initiated and delivered included the Tube Reliability Programme which led to a 40% reduction in Tube delays; the £300m Growth Fund to fund transport infrastructure to unlock new house building; the Mayor’s new £1b cycling infrastructure programme; and London's first-ever roads strategy and the associated £4b implementation programme.

Prior to her transport role, Isabel was the Mayor's Environment Advisor, responsible for delivering large-scale building retrofit programmes, parks and trees programmes and the £100m London Green Fund, among other initiatives.

Previous roles include running the policy team at Transport for London and 4 years as a management consultant at McKinsey. Isabel is a qualified US lawyer.

Karyn Sinclair, NZ Planning Institute


Karyn Sinclair is a town planner with over 30 years’ experience, primarily in infrastructure and transportation projects. She is the current chair of the Board of the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI). Established in 1949, NZPI has more than 2000 members involved in strategic planning initiatives and implementation of urban and rural plans and work across a range of government, consultancy and industry groups.

Karyn’s career has spanned several local government positions, both rural and urban, consultancy and self-employment. Karyn worked on the development of the Waitakere District Plan, which embraced the focus of the Resource Management Act and focussed very directly on effects rather than activities. Now days she works primarily on strategic planning and consenting for infrastructure projects, including leading the consents for projects such as Puhoi to Warkworth, which is currently under construction. Karyn has worked on transport projects from cycle ways, roading improvements for safer cycling to corridor management plans, business case development to significant motorway projects.

While self-employed Karyn obtained her “Making Good Decisions” certification and has sat on a significant number of resource consent, plan change, designation and other hearings. Most notably Karyn chaired the hearing for the Auckland SkyPath proposal, which attracted over 18000 submissions.

Karyn’s current role as Technical Planning Lead for Jacobs NZ has her involved at all stages of a variety of transportation projects, from leading options evaluation processes to leading resource consent processes and undertaking reviews for compliance during construction.

Dr Rodney Tolley, Active Transport Consultant

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Dr Rodney Tolley has been involved in the field of active, sustainable transport for over 40 years, first as a university researcher and teacher, and now as an experienced international speaker and consultant. He has led hundreds of presentations, walkabouts and workshops in communities across the world, including over 50 cities in Australasia.

He was a founder member of the Steering Group for Walk21 - the first International Conference on Walking and Livable Cities - and has been the Conference Director for the nineteen Walk21 Conferences since then. He was central to the development of the International Charter for Walking, which is has now been signed by over 500 mayors to lead their communities towards better walkability. He is currently finalising his most recent book (with Paul Tranter of UNSW Canberra) on ‘Future slow cities: Healthier places to live, work and play'.

His passion is walking – and talking walking.

Hon Phil Twyford, Minister of Transport

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Hon Phil Twyford was born and raised in Auckland. He is the Labour Member of Parliament for Te Atatu, where he lives. Phil’s vision is for New Zealand to deliver hope and opportunity to all people. He is committed to fixing the housing and transport problems that affect our biggest city, as well as much of the rest of the country.

After studying politics at Auckland University, Phil worked as a journalist and union organiser before becoming the founding Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand. Phil’s strong belief in justice led to him becoming Oxfam’s Global Advocacy Director, based in Washington DC.

Upon returning to New Zealand, Phil was elected to Parliament for the Labour Party in 2008. In Opposition, he held the portfolios of Housing, Transport, Auckland Issues, and Disarmament and Arms Control.

As Minister for Housing and Urban Development and Transport, Phil is looking forward to working with communities to build a better New Zealand.

Hobbiton was fantastic - the best conference dinner I have been to!
— 2017 IPENZ TG conference delegate