Technical Director Transport
New Zealand

Risto has over 27 years’ experience in urban transport planning and has provided project management and technical leadership on a variety of master-planning and transit-oriented projects. His expertise is in planning for multi-dimensional towns and cities, aiming to improve level of service for walking and cycling, and maintain connectivity for road and transit networks.

He has been working closely with urban planners and architects especially with light rail projects where land use development (via urban densification) has to enable and encourage light rail investments, and vice versa.

A particular career highlight was a two-year stint working as a transport engineer, designing roads and streets to east Germany.

“This was because of the reunification of western and eastern Germany. It was really interesting to learn how geometrical design is done and it was eye opening to work in an German engineering company. Later in my career this experience in geometrical design meant I could take a wider range of projects.”

Risto loves working in a sector that is evolving at such a fast pace with rapidly developing technology but believes it will take a different approach to solve some of the complex challenges.

“Our industry is accustomed to work in silos – I’ve noticed this in Finland as well as here. We feel safer working with our peers when no one is profoundly questioning our solutions. But that’s not going to work anymore. We will only be able to meet future challenges when we work in multidisciplinary teams. That’s already happening at WSP. 

Ultimately what drives Risto is his passion to work on projects that are sustainable and good for the humans, families, communities and businesses that connect in a vibrant and well-functioning city.

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