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Future city centre designs approved for consultation  

Published: 2 July 2019

What will Auckland’s city centre look like in 20 years?  How will we live, travel, work and play?  

New designs reveal a friendly, safe and vibrant place with more green space, modern trams and pedestrianised streets buzzing with people.

Aucklanders will have their say on new City Centre Masterplan designs when public consultation opens mid-August, approved by the council’s Planning Committee today.

Mayor Phil Goff says the new designs will create a city centre that Aucklanders will be proud of.

“Our city is growing at an unprecedented rate. Auckland's future is in progress with $73 billion worth of commercial construction and more than 150 major development projects - including our multimillion dollar Downtown Programme - in progress or planned.   

“Over the next 10 years, there will be eight times as many people using the waterfront area every day. The completed Commercial Bay precinct alone will house 10,000 workers, and pedestrian traffic at Britomart is set to double when the City Rail Link opens in 2024.

"The new City Centre Masterplan will help accommodate our record growth and ensure our city centre develops as a vibrant and world-class destination for people.”

Planning Committee Chair, Councillor Chris Darby says the scale of urban transformation of Auckland’s city centre is unprecedented. People-centred urban design is the key to reaching 21st century standards of sustainability, mobility, and economic opportunity.   

“Our new mobility plan, Access for Everyone, will create a low-emissions zone in our city centre within the next five years. It will transform the way we use our streets - making sure that pedestrians, cycles, and buses can move freely and safely, while preserving access for drivers. It will free up public space and improve deliveries to businesses and residents.

Aucklanders will get a chance to feel the difference when trials start in High Street later this year. Working closely with city centre residents, businesses and visitors we will begin to test and refine distinctive streetscape arrangements that combine access and enjoyment. We will ask people to tell us their experiences, and finalise a plan for the city centre as well as look at how the concept can be scaled up for regional town centres.”

Ludo Campbell-Reid, General Manager Auckland Design Office says the City Centre Masterplan will build a city centre for people, and marks a new bold chapter in our urban design transformation story.

“The new designs discussed today introduce three bold new concepts - Access for Everyone, the eastern transformation of Grafton Gully and Māori Outcomes - that will collectively unlock the liveability, accessibility and the indigenous Māori creativity of Auckland today and into the next 20 years.

In the future, an exciting opportunity exists with the urban regeneration of the Grafton Boulevard, which has the potential to become the new Wynyard Quarter. With 30 hectares of untapped city fringe space, the vision is to create a new liveable district for four thousand residents and unite Parnell with our city centre and waterfront.”  

Have your say on the future of the city centre:

Extensive engagement with city centre residents as well as business and community groups over the last 18 months has helped develop the new concepts and shape the new city centre vision.  

Aucklanders can have their say on these new concepts to shape the City Centre Masterplan from mid-August until late September 2019:

Māori Outcomes: Our place in the world

Working closely with Mana Whenua, a range of unique initiatives and developments will provide all Aucklanders and visitors with a deeper understanding of Mana Whenua histories, associations and aspirations within the city centre and waterfront. Collaboration, innovation, creativity and the direct involvement of Mana Whenua will develop and deliver a thriving Māori culture and identity for the area, from which Aucklanders and visitors will benefit.

Tāmaki Makaurau - our place in the world, firmly grounded here in Aotearoa, looking confidently across Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa out into the world.

Queen Street Valley: People-friendly haven

Within the next decade, Queen Street and adjoining streets will transform into a pedestrian and transport haven with open public spaces for people to enjoy and explore. Working closely with Heart of the City to introduce the new concept Access for Everyone, it will create a pathway for people leading to our beautiful waterfront and help stimulate prosperity for businesses.

Grafton Boulevard: New eastern gateway to the city centre

The vision is to complete SH16 to Tāmaki Drive as a tree-lined multi-way boulevard to improve connections and access to the port area and eastern suburbs – creating a new eastern gateway to the city centre and extend the city centre’s vibrancy to the east. 

Following the public consultation period, there will be further opportunities during 2019 to refine and shape the draft plan, with a view to seeking committee approval in early 2020.

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