12: Auckland’s “Missing” Urban Neighbourhoods


What if Auckland’s “missing” urban neighbourhoods re-emerged as real places?

Auckland is growing up fast. In central Auckland, this can be seen in the emerging new destinations (Britomart, Wynyard Quarter for example) and many smaller changes all over the place that are contributing to a city centre and fringe neighbourhoods that are much richer and interesting places to live, work and visit.

That said, there are still many streets in and around the city centre and fringe where great potential to become good people-focused places is thwarted by the dominance of their traffic movement functions. Often, this has been reinforced by poor quality building development that contributes little to the adjacent public realm of the street.

Some of these stretches might be considered ‘missing neighbourhoods’ with an untapped potential to emerge as great urban places if we can pay more attention to supporting their place-making qualities as well as traffic movement. Take a look at Wakefield Street, Wellington Street, Upper Symonds Street or Khyber Pass. Ought we not look to these areas to support more development and activity to support future growth?

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  1. I used to live in one of the last remaining two storey mansions left on Kyber pass road. The street used to be a medical street similar to Harley street in England. There used to be cafes and bakeries on the corner of Kyber and Grafton. Now it is a waste land of lifeless commercial buildings and empty carparks. The whole street has huge potential as it has retail at each end. It would be great to change it from a major thoroughfare to an urban village. The motorway dissecting the street is a problem re sound but resolvable. If the prison was converted to residential as well as keeping the mixed use feel (visa work/ live use of commercial areas )of the suburb through to Mtt Eden road this blighted suburb could be ultra funky. Again the people we pay to give us this sort of vision are incompetent and should resign from their positions and let somebody with passion and drive do the job.

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