"It's a fantastic concept not only nurturing talent and giving them a stage it also creates new interest in the space and adds to the vibrancy of our city."  Kevin Dee, Kevin Dee Realty

About UDB

Ngā mihi nui kia koutou katoa. Nau mai, haere mai. 

Urban Dream Brokerage provides space for new ideas in Wellington Te Whanganui ā Tara. Working with property managers, individuals and community groups UDB brokers the temporary use of vacant space for innovative projects, assisting in urban revitalisation. It is run by organisation Letting Space.

Urban Dream Brokerage's work aims to:

  • Increase diversity and community.
  • Reduce vacant space.
  • Increase professionalism and help innovate business development.
  • Increase mixed use of the city's building stock.
  • See stronger representation of mana whenua in the city.
  • Increase public engagement in the city
  • See Wellington known as a city for its innovative use of space and public interaction.

For an introduction to what it's all about listen to this interview with RNZ's Wallace Chapman.

Alongside the support of property owners in the city Urban Dream Brokerage is funded by Wellington City Council and the Wellington Community Trust.

Cities have changed. Urban Dream Brokerage, along with other new agencies around the world, reflects the need for us to work differently to meet the challenge of reflecting our city's increasing need for a diversity of functions.

A strong example of the impact of this work is in Newcastle New South Wales where Renew Newcastle has made a significant contribution to the revitalisation of the city, after changes in retail and living patterns saw the main street dying.

Economic analysis in Australia in 2012 shows the economic benefits of urban space renewal projects like UDB is at a benefit cost ratio of more than 10:1. That is, for every dollar invested in the programme it promises to generate ten-times that in economic benefit to the city.

 

Who are we

Managers: Mark Amery and Sophie Jerram

Broker: Helen Kirlew Smith

Advisory Panel: WCC arts advisor Eve Armstrong, urban planner Anna Harley, management consultant Liz Mellish, Wellington Company Leasing Manager Stathis Moutous, artist and curator Kim Paton, and property consultant Alison Pharaoh.

Monitoring and Evaluation Facilitator: Brighid Jamieson

Intern: Pauline Autet

Management company Letting Space has since 2010 been running public art, urban revtalisation and media projects in public and temporary commercial spaces throughout New Zealand to critical and popular acclaim.

Letting Space and UDB are run under the auspices of the Wellington Independent Arts Trust

Managers: Mark Amery and Sophie Jerram  are directors of Letting Space and trustees of the Wellington Independent Arts Trust.

Sophie Jerram’s extensive work as a curator, artist and businesswoman has had a particular interest in issues surrounding sustainability and art’s examination of the relationship between business and the environment.

Mark Amery has extensive experience nationally as an arts manager, curator and writer and has worked as an arts advisor with public bodies and local authorities.

Broker: Helen Kirlew Smith

Helen Kirlew Smith is a co-director of Letting Space and also works with Wellington Tedx. She is an experienced producer, event manager and facilitator with a passion for supporting the arts in communities and public space.  Helen worked as Company Manager for Blast Theory in the UK for eight years, an internationally renowned live arts company.

 
 

“Before we felt very isolated. By the end of six months we were all ready to commit to what we had created. We couldn't have predicted the deep effect being so open to the public has had on our work. We felt able to take a personal and professional risk and it really felt like we were breaking down the barrier to contemporary art practice.” – Sarah Read, Artist

Urban Dream Brokerage is run with the support of Wellington City Council and Wellington Community Trust.