021 892 793

Meet Ben

Ben founded van Bruggen Urbanism in 2012 in London. In 2017 he brought his experience to Auckland, New Zealand to lead and develop the city-wide design strategy for the Auckland Design Office. In addition to establishing van Bruggen Urbanism in New Zealand in 2020, Ben was a Principal at Jasmax, the multi-disciplinary design practice, until November 2021. 

Ben works at the city scale to help reveal the potential of projects and places. Establishing a shared understanding of this potential allows delivery of these city-shaping strategies. Ben led the Design Strategy team for Auckland Council, which included the Auckland Design Manual and Maori Design. He worked on the City Centre Masterplan, the Light Rail Project and the innovative Corridor Study, Harbour Crossing and Auckland to Hamilton Rail Corridor as well as representing the Council internationally.

Combining deep knowledge with new approaches to understanding place is a passion for Ben, who believes in demonstrating best practice and contextual relevance. Ben is a founding member of Placemaking Aotearoa, a member of the Urban Design Forum Committee and a Regenerative Practitioner. 

Lifting the level of debate about the design of our cities will accelerate our understanding and our ability to adapt to modern challenges. Ben is keen to pioneer new approaches to better cities in Aotearoa through the promotion of a National Design Agency and City Rooms. 

Prior to coming to Auckland, Ben held senior roles in the private sector in consultancy and in the public sector. In 2001 Ben joined the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE). He was responsible for a number of good practice guides and established the regional network of design review panels. Ben has been a critical friend to teams on projects and city authorities ever since. 

Ben has written design policy, guidance and frameworks. He regularly chairs and speaks at international seminars and conferences, gives press interviews and publishes articles. He is a passionate advocate for better cities and how the health of a city shapes human lives. He works to make cities better for everybody. 

Ben van Bruggen is an internationally respected urbanist, urban planner and urban designer with more than 25 years of experience in both the private and public sector.

RNZ The Panel with Wallace Chapman

July 26, 2022 0
I appeared on The Panel on RNZ on 15th July 2022. Listen to my take on creating better design outcomes for

Finding a way through our urban housing dilemma

July 26, 2022 0
This article about creating a Design Office for Aotearoa New Zealand appeared in Stuff on the 12 July 2022. https://www.stuff.

Character is dynamic and evolving, not static.

July 12, 2022 0
Auckland’s recent marathon 11-hour planning meeting saw a continuing confusion between ‘heritage’ and ‘character’. If planners can’t articulate

Why doesn’t government have a Chief Design Advisor?

July 12, 2022 0
This article appeared in Stuff on 12th July 2022 OPINION: Our councils are


phone: 021 892 793