1. Does anyone have an economic comparison of this with similar nearby vehicle-accessible spaces like High St? Income per square metre, rents, etc.

        1. And the seats need backs on them. I hate seats without backs. Having something to lean on is so much more relaxing.

  2. Great photo.

    However, does anyone else notice that there is a decided lack of diversity in those pictured?

    No children or teens, no elderly or ethnic diversity? I have noticed when attending Auckland Conversations that the focus is in providing great public spaces, but often it the talk or ideas are restricted to people “who live like I do”.

    I know this is just one photo, and as such not an indication of a trend.

    But if the sentiment is not challenged at planning or decision level, Auckland will keep providing only a certain type of public space that truly engages only a portion of our Aucklanders.

    1. Wow you must go to some very limited parts of Auckland. As a Pakeha walking down Queen Street I am usually a minority – and I love it. I also often see a lot of elderly people, especially older Asian people. And teens? Heaps of teens on skateboards and some on bicycles.

      In that photo alone I see at least a half dozen Asian/Indian people as well as the grey haired gentleman with his back to the camera. Not too many children no, but I imagine you would see a lot down in Wynyard Quarter or by the cinema at Aotea. No doubt suburban Aucklanders still see the CBD as unsuitable for children, which is crazy.

      I really dont think a lack of diversity is a valid criticism of the CBD. Amazing that a lot of NZ criticises Auckland as not being the “real NZ” because of all the Asian people and then you say there is a lack of diversity.

    2. The High Street retailers must be glad that they are not being bothered by all those customers coming into their shops. They then have time to enjoy inhaling all the fumes from the cars idling in the congestion there and savouring the “old fashioned shopping experience”.

    3. That’s Vulcan Lane. It’s a downtown street filled with eateries and bars, patronised by wealthy middle class patrons who work nearby, more or less. Go round the corner to Queen St and you will see plenty of teenagers, head down to the waterfront and you’ll find children at the playground.

      1. Was not intending to criticise the whole of Auckland, just musing on the impressions I got from attending a lot of planning discussions when preparing for the Unitary Plan submissions.

        Do go to Auckland city, and really enjoy the skateboarders etc in Shortland Street and Aotea Square. But also aware of complaints about the same…

        Don’t think the example of kids shopping is the same as teens hanging out – and having some sense of ownership of those spaces that allows them to be relaxed and creative. Recall visiting Sydney a couple of years ago, and finding groups of teens practising dance routines in front of office buildings. Realised that they were using the reflective glass as mirrors – and had created their own al fresco dance studios.

        I know a couple of those kinds of spontaneous happening, one is in Otara shopping centre and drove through Manurewa late last week to miss the traffic and saw a group of approx thirty being led through dance moves on the main street. Can’t recall anything similar in Auckland city itself.

        Because these are a couple of examples, does not mean that planners include them in their brief for development of public spaces. Very rarely hear planners talking about catering to a wide variety of users, often small demographics – ie. the patrons of eateries, or skateboarders etc. and targeting one or other of our wide public demographic.

        And yet we seem to aspire to the grand piazza’s of Italy, or the public spaces of other countries where the whole spectrum of public users can be seen over the space of a couple of hours.

        Not linked to shopping or going out, just using the public spaces for social interaction.

        1. I think Molly has a point here. The CBD does cater mainly to corporate or wannabe types. I find much more diversity in Wellington City for example. I often wonder where all the Uni students in Auckland are. Maybe they pay too much in Uni fees and can’t afford to buy a beer in Vulcan Lane?

  3. It is the emptiness in the middle of a place that give good sight lines for people watching.
    As suggested, the planner what this place for seating, eating and maybe allowing some busking.
    If the centre is empty, then only the size of the area would limit its uses, not the permanent furniture.

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