On returning to Auckland in 2000, architect Julie Stout was dismayed to see what an unloved, shabby place our central city had become, RNZ reports. Twenty years on, it would be nice to say a lot has improved – but has it? Using experiences gleaned from masters students’ design projects at the School of Architecture and Planning, Julie describes a future Auckland that connects to the wairua/spirit-of-place often lost in the urban environment and encompasses the many cultures that make up the unique fabric of Tāmaki Makaurau. Emma Stewart, a fourth-year student at Auckland University’s School of Architecture and Planning, has re-imagined Queens Wharf once sea level rise has wiped out the old concrete wharf. She has created a new urban landscape and marae atea space between the city and the harbour. A place to welcome, hold festivals, tell stories. . Photo: Emma Stewart