‘Low carbon’ Kāpiti comes alive at Coastlands

Thousands of Kāpiti residents have glimpsed a ‘low carbon’ Kāpiti in the year 2025 through an inspiring display on now at Coastlands Mall.

Built entirely of Lego® bricks, the display is the work of over 40 young people and a few adult Lego fans who contributed around 120 models to the project co-ordinated by Low Carbon Kāpiti’s Jake Roos. Crowd-pleasing moving models include a futuristic hot air balloon, a train, water-wheel and wind turbine. The model future Kāpiti also has a hospital, sports stadium, waste-to-energy composting plant and floating houses.

There are two activities around the display: one challenging people to find hidden details, the other to vote for the People’s Choice model. Entries close on 18 April and this and other prizes will be awarded by Hon Kris Faafoi, at Coastlands on 19 April. The display will be up until the end of April.

Jake said the idea was to show people a future vision where things ran on renewable energy, people were empowered to walk, cycle, drive electric vehicles and use public transport, and enough trees were planted to neutralise carbon emissions.

“One of the aims of Low Carbon Kāpiti is to bring this vision alive and make it real for people. Our focus is on promoting changes with multiple benefits for everyone and changing the underlying systems and infrastructure so that climate-friendly choices are the easiest, default choices. We chose the year 2025 for our display to emphasise that we need make these changes quickly to prevent the worst effects of climate change, and because why would we want to wait longer to make Kāpiti an even better place to live?”

Low Carbon Kāpiti is also calling on the district council to become ‘carbon neutral’ as an organisation by 2025, building on achievement of a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions they achieved last year, Jake Roos said. Low Carbon Kāpiti would be ensuring practical actions towards this goal, particularly greater use of electric vehicles, renewable energy and increasing tree planting, remained a focus during discussions around the Council’s long term plan in coming weeks.

“The display is just one way we can keep the issue top of mind. People are firstly delighted by its colour and detail, and then they begin to see what it’s all about. It’s music to my ears when I hear people say: ‘That’s what Kāpiti could look like in the future’”. Jake said the display would not have been possible without the generous support of the sponsors: Kapiti Menzshed, Coastlands, Cameron Builders, Cuttriss Consulting, Via Architecture, Farmers and the Smarter Building Centre.

Low Carbon Kāpiti was incorporated in June 2017 and now has 184 members, a number which is increasing as a direct result of the display.

People interested in joining can do so at the display or on the organisation’s website: http://lowcarbonkapiti.org.nz