One of the city centre’s most historic streets is set for revitalisation through the Innovating Streets Programme.
The Emily Place Pilot has received funding through the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency programme which aims to create safer, more people-friendly streets in towns and cities across Aotearoa.
Auckland Council is leading the pilot in conjunction with the Emily Place community and will trial ways to make the street and reserve safer and more pleasant for the many residents, visitors, and businesses in the area.
Waitematā Local Board Chair Richard Northey says the landscape in the area which makes it so unique also creates safety issues which need to be addressed.
“Emily Place has a rich history. Although it looks dramatically different now, it was the original location of Point Britomart and where the original shoreline used to be. Jutting out in the form of a huge point and then dropping in sheer cliffs into the Waitematā, it was one of the most thrilling pieces of our harbour landscape.
“The winding, steep terrain and wide streets make it particularly dangerous for pedestrians. With some changes we can create an attractive walking connection between Britomart Station and the universities, and a reserve that provides an intimate outdoor space for residents and workers to enjoy.”
Auckland Council Project Lead, Claire Davis explains the community have an important role in determining what interventions are put in place.
“The Creating Safer Streets Emily Place Pilot will give us the opportunity to hear what improvements the community would like to see. We will then use a tactical urbanism approach which means working with the community to design and test temporary solutions. These solutions can then be tweaked and changed based on feedback from the community, so if things don’t work, we’ll alter them.
“This pilot is the first in a series of stages to improve Emily Place. The pilot gets some immediate improvements in place and will help inform more permanent upgrades for Emily Place in the future.”
City Centre Residents Group (CCRG) Deputy Chair Adam Parkinson is a resident of Emily Place and is pleased that progress is being made to improve the area.
“This is a very welcome community-driven initiative. It is about neighbourhood-building via quick and easy safety interventions in our public streets. CCRG supports safe and reliable access for everyone, with pedestrians, cyclists, micro-mobility, public transport, and service delivery having priority. It also advocates for great public spaces that we remember, and enjoy, where we can relax and meet our neighbours.
“This project ticks all those boxes for Emily Place, and is a template to be applied to the many other densely residential areas of the city centre that are looking for better safety, amenity and public space - in short, what everyone wants - better and safer neighbourhoods,” says Parkinson.
The Emily Place pilot project will be completed in June 2021. To learn more about this project or sign up to receive updates, visit AK Have Your Say.