Aucklanders have overwhelmingly supported Auckland Council’s vision for a liveable, green and accessible city centre according to public feedback on the draft City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) refresh.
Results show a large majority (76 per cent of respondents) are in support of the general direction of the CCMP with Access for Everyone receiving 82 per cent support.
Originally adopted in 2012, Auckland Council’s CCMP sets out a 20-year vision for the heart of the city.
Expanding on the original masterplan, new ideas and opportunities are being introduced in the refresh which include an integrated plan for the Waterfront, an Access for Everyone city centre concept, Māori outcomes and a new proposal to connect Parnell to the eastern edge of the city centre.
Public consultation was open between 9 September and 18 October 2019 and attracted 542 pieces of feedback from individuals, businesses, organisations and stakeholders. Feedback will be incorporated in the draft CMMP for endorsement by the council’s Planning Committee in March 2020.
Based on the six outcomes underpinning the Auckland Plan 2050, the draft CCMP presents a vision of a city centre that is more family-friendly, more pedestrian-friendly and more environmentally friendly.
Planning Committee Chair, Councillor Chris Darby says it’s encouraging to see “overwhelming support” for people-centred urban design.
He says Access for Everyone will transform Auckland’s city centre by freeing up public space and making sure pedestrians, cycles, and buses can move freely and safely – while preserving access for drivers.
“Aucklanders want a friendly, safe and vibrant city with more green space and pedestrianised streets buzzing with people.
“New and innovative ideas outlined in the City Centre Masterplan refresh will help us put a plan in place to ensure our city reaches 21st century standards of sustainability, mobility, and economic opportunity.
“The feedback shows Aucklanders are eager for the transformation to be done.
“There’s a lot of expectation on the council to just get on and do it. Aucklanders are chomping at the bit to have it done,” he says.
Among the supportive submitters were the Parnell Business Association, Heart of the City and the New Zealand Automobile Association (AA).
AA’s Infrastructure Principal Advisor Barney Irvine says the organisation’s CCMP refresh submission incorporated findings from a recent survey of approximately 800 AA members.
“We sought the views of members on the idea of Queen Street being converted into a `transit street’ further in the future. This change is central to the Access for Everyone concept and is likely to be the aspect of A4E that resonates most closely with the public. Close to two thirds of respondents said they support the idea.”
Barney says the AA is “broadly supportive of Access for Everyone”.
“In our view, it aligns well with the vision that AA members and most Aucklanders have for the future of their city.
“The challenge will be to deliver it in a way that is feasible and practical, and that minimises impact on other areas of the transport network.
“While Auckland’s 335,000 AA members are mainly motorists, many are also public transport users, cyclists and, of course, pedestrians,” he says.
“So, the collective views of AA members reflect all modes of travel.”