Ghalesha Singh is an events and activations manager. We speak to her about her vision for the future of Auckland, and building a diverse, vibrant and forward-thinking city.
When you look ahead to 2050, are you optimistic about Auckland’s future?
I am optimistic! We have the right people supporting the growth and development of our city, and they seem to be genuinely listening to people’s feedback.
What’s one thing that you would like to see in Auckland that doesn’t exist now?
More late-night food options! People are starting to work during their own preferred hours as more jobs become available that don’t follow the traditional 9am – 5pm routine.
Sometimes it’s hard to find great food or coffee places open late that cater for the people who are all still buzzing about at night.
What’s the one thing you would most like to improve by 2050?
As we become more educated on our plastic waste and reusable items become more popular, it would be great for Auckland to install more water drinking fountains.
We’re lucky enough to live in a city and country where we can drink water straight from the tap, which some counties don’t have the privilege to do. Why not use this as an opportunity to help our environment? People wouldn’t need to buy a bottle of water as they know there would be a fountain nearby.
What do you think of the public transport options in Auckland now?
We are on the right track. Improvements are being made to make public transport faster and up to date – there is still room for improvement in terms of its reliability and accessibility in the outer areas of Auckland.
As our city continues to grow and become busier I hope that by the future we are using more eco-friendly options of transport – this means e-bikes, scooters and trains!
Great cities aren’t just about concrete and economic growth. They’re also about vibe and vibrancy. What role does do events and the arts have in a city like Auckland?
It’s extremely important for Auckland to celebrate the arts/cultural groups and provide a space that allows this to happen.
This brings everyone together - people interact and learn from others around them. It builds cohesion and understanding within a community for what makes an individual who they are; we can learn from the different values each group may possess.
In your experience, how does Auckland stack up in comparison to other cities? What is our main point of difference?
Although smaller than most cities internationally, we definitely hold our own. We’re a forward-thinking, open-minded community of people; a city that fosters the feeling of acceptance for all people who wish to live there.
This is desirable because unconditional acceptance isn’t something that comes naturally to some international cities – with that factor alone, I can see why people would want to live here!
How would you describe Auckland in five words now? And how would you like to describe it in 2050?
Diverse, vibrant, forward-thinking, inclusive, colourful. I hope that in 2050, we are still following this standard!
What do we need more and less of in Auckland by 2050?
Fewer cars – more eco-friendly, reliable travel options.