120,000+ return to city centre on Fridays and Saturdays in May

Publish Date : 20 May 2022
Lightpath Credit Luke Foley Martin @Lukefmphotography Resize
Photo: Luke Foley Martin
Freyberg Credit Luke Foley Martin @Lukefmphotography Resize
Photo: Luke Foley
Jean Batten Credit Luke Foley Martin @Lukefmphotography Resize
Photo: Luke Foley Martin
WQ Credit Luke Foley Martin @Lukefmphotography Resize
Photo: Luke Foley Martin

It’s too early to call it a trend, but city leaders are optimistic the increase in visitors over recent weeks is the beginning of an uplift in the city centre.

Fridays and Saturdays in May saw the highest consistent numbers of people coming to the city centre - Karangahape Road to the waterfront - since before Auckland’s August 2021 lockdown.

Across the areas of the city centre where footfall is measured every hour, more than 120,000 people have visited on each Friday and Saturday in the last two weeks.

And over the last 12 days (6 to 17 May) there has been an increase of 5.8% in the number of people visiting the city centre compared with the 12 days immediately prior.  

While there are many influences contributing to the increase, Mayor Phil Goff believes City of Colour  which opened on 6 May has been one of the drivers.

Mayor Phil Goff says, “The recent increase in visitors to the city centre is small but encouraging, and we’re hopeful that it signals the start of the longer-term recovery that businesses impacted by COVID-19 have been waiting for,” he says.

“It has been great to see so many people enjoying City of Colour, which has brightened central Auckland and drawn visitors to the free trail of more than 50 installations from Karangahape Road to the waterfront, providing a welcome boost to local businesses.”

The city centre is a 4.33 square kilometre area of land which generated $23.2 billion in GDP in the year to March 2021. That’s 19 per cent of Auckland’s regionwide GDP.

For more statistics from Auckland Council’s Chief Economist Unit outlining why a thriving city centre matters economically, click here.

City of Colour delivers 50 installations, with canopies of colour, super-sized artworks, dazzling waterfalls of light and more brightening streets and squares. Explore a vibrant art trail by day and magic light trail by night.

Pinpoint the installations on a digital map - details below* - learn about the art and artists, and create your own walking tour from Karangahape Road to the Viaduct Harbour and Silo Park, via  Vulcan Lane, High Street district, Queen Street, Commercial Bay, Te Komititanga and Britomart.

See city landmarks light up - from the SkyTower, The Civic, Vector Lights on the Harbour Bridge, PWC Tower and the Auckland Town Hall to Te Ara I Whiti / The Lightpath.

City of Colour is scheduled to finish on Sunday 22 May. The leaders of both Heart of the City, Viv Beck, and Karangahape Road  Business Association, Jamey Holloway, urge Aucklanders not to miss the final days of this unique showcase of creativity.

Co-curated by award-winning designer Angus Muir and Barbara Holloway of Auckland Council, City of Colour is a partnership between Auckland Council and Heart of the City alongside other city centre partners including SkyCity, Viaduct Harbour Holdings, Britomart Group, Precinct Properties, Karangahape Road Business Association, Eke Panuku and Auckland Live.

Next week, Auckland Council is continuing its FREE lunchtime entertainment in Elliott Street and Fort Street pocket park, from 11am until 1.30pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday until 9 June. Learn to master the hula hoop and play wooden games while listening to music.

Next month Matariki Festival begins from 21 June until 16 July and Elemental AKL runs from 14 to 31 July. A season of curated experiences celebrating the unique culture, cuisine, art, music and creativity of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, will build on the energy of City of Colour.

*Find all installations on the City of Colour map here. Zoom in and tap on each pinpoint for more details and visuals. For a printable version, click here. Start exploring now!

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