Boom times ahead for changing city centre

Last Updated : 15 Jul 2019
Aerial view of Auckland city

With 55,000 people already living in the city centre and a further 30,000 expected over the next decade, businesses are heading for boom years.

It’s all music to the ears of Viv Beck, the chief executive of Heart of the City, the business association responsible for supporting a successful city centre economy.

“The city centre has changed from a place people come to work and shop to one where people are increasingly spending their life and leisure time as well,” she says.

A further boost to the economy will follow the 2024 opening of the City Rail Link, doubling the number of people within a 30-minute commute to the city centre, making it easier to get to work and attracting more people to the city as a destination for shopping, dining and entertainment, she said.

With billions of dollars of developments happening in the city centre, Viv is excited to see new hotels apartments, shops, and public spaces shaping the centre’s future.

“It’s changing the way people are experiencing the city and demonstrates investor confidence.

“We’re also pleased to see a strong focus now on great design, ensuring that higher rise buildings complement their surroundings and that people can enjoy living and working in them.”

What would she like to see improved in future?

“I’d like to see some of the big ideas that have support happen faster, for example ideas for the waterfront. There’s a flurry of discussion – and then the ideas sit and gather dust.”

Where does she look for inspiration? “What’s topical right now is making our city centre more pedestrian friendly. Many other cities are making these moves – Copenhagen, Melbourne, London, New York, and Paris included.

“If we tread thoughtfully through this transition, making the city more appealing for a rapidly growing population will produce many benefits.”

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