About Me (Ben) and the Blog as an Urban Geographer

Talking Southern Auckland is the Conversation and Commentary from Urban Geographer Ben Ross.

The elections have been and gone but the journey continues as projects like Transform Manukau and the Airport Line continue to gather steam.

Talking Southern Auckland focuses on the urban geography issues of mainly Southern Auckland (Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura, and Franklin Wards) with occasional pieces from wider Auckland or overseas that might have consequences to the South.


Join me as the Urban Geography story continues on that path of a #BetterAuckland

Blog History as an Urban Geographer

Urban geography is a branch of human geography concerned with various aspects of cities. An urban geographer’s main role is to emphasise location and space and study the spatial processes that create patterns observed in urban areas.
Source: An Overview of Urban Geography – About.com

As an Urban Geographer I have a keen interest (and passion) in how cities work and how we can build better cities from knowing how spatial patterns create those patterns observed in an urban area. My interest in Urban Geography would start from those Sim City 2000 days and continue through to today’s advance urban/transport simulator Cities Skylines (see: Ben’s Cities).

The GHD Aerotropolis exercise

Talking Southern Auckland as a Urban Geographer Digital Record

The blog itself started as VOAKL back in December 2011 before and Talking Auckland in 2013.

Talking Southern Auckland is my digital story covering Urban Geography as well as other topics here in the South as well as wider Auckland.

One of my major Urban Geography (and Planning) engagements was with the Unitary Plan that is now Operative in part. I was engaged with stakeholders, residents and other like-minded groups and individuals from across the city in assisting them with Unitary Plan information, questions and submissions. Through Talking Auckland I also ran extensive balanced commentary from day one on the Unitary Plan. This commentary has gone noticed and picked up mentions ranging from then Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse (and current Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore) to Russell Brown at Public Address, to youth organisation Generation Zero.

With the Unitary Plan operative (in part) and Area Plans soon to be formed, Talking Auckland shifted their main focus to a project close to mys heart – Transform Manukau. Transform Manukau is a large (600ha) urban regeneration project led by Auckland Council’s property and development arm Panuku Development Auckland. The story of Transform Manukau can be watched through the Transform Manukau Omnibus series here on Talking Auckland. 

I draw on the leadership qualities of:

Southern Auckland is my and Talking Auckland’s home. Despite often the negative stereotypes again Southern it is a region we all love both physically and for its social and cultural diversity as well (South Auckland – The Rising Jewel in Auckland’s Crown) .

Note: I am currently contracted to the Auckland Design Office at Auckland Council (the Client). All blog posts are my own views and are not representative of the Client.

I am open to opportunities in work and/or research projects preferably in the Urban Geography discipline. For full profile and portfolio see my LinkedIn profile:

View Ben Ross's profile on LinkedIn

So join me in the conversation on Southern Auckland 

Speaking at Council
Speaking at Council