Yesterday the Auckland Development Committee approved the Downtown Framework which has been put together by the City Centre Integration Group (CCIG) which is a team comprised of members from all the relevant council agencies (e.g. Auckland Council, Auckland Transport, Waterfront Auckland etc.). The framework should be available online sometime today.
To understand what the framework is for you first need to remember some of the history that has led to it. The Auckland Plan, the City Centre Master Plan, The Waterfront Plan and many others have all contributed towards what is hoped will happen in the city centre over the next 30 years. From them a huge number of projects have been born to make the city a better place. There are around 50 all up and are shown on the map below and are a mix of transport and place making projects.
The projects over the decade can be grouped into five specific areas
For each of the five areas a framework is being developed which is meant to create a bridge between the strategy set out in the various plans and the actual delivering projects. It effectively deals with issues like working out the sequencing and interdependencies of the projects. After all we wouldn’t want to create a fantastic new public space only or it to be dug up again a few years later for something else like the City Rail Link.
The Downtown Framework is the first framework of the areas above to be released. It broadly covers the area north of (and including) Customs St and from the Viaduct Harbour in the west through to Britomart Pl in the East. Within the Downtown area it has further been divided into 8 areas of opportunity which are shown below.
With those 8 areas there are 12 projects that the council are looking at over the next decade and a further 4 projects that could happen in the future. The projects for the next decade are
- City Rail Link – Enabling works proposed to construct tunnel sections from Britomart to up Albert Street beyond Customs St allowing other projects to be completed without further disruption.
- Lower Queen Street – Proposed relocation of the buses from Lower Queen St provides opportunity for a new public square.
- Queens Wharf – The redevelopment of Queens Wharf will deliver significant new public space as well as accommodating ferry and cruise operations
- Quay Street – Quay Street is planned to be transformed into Auckland premier waterfront boulevard that will connect to various parts of the wider waterfront.
- Downtown Bus Interchange – The proposed new interchange will be divided between Lower Albert St and Britomart Transport Centre and enable the new public space on Lower Albert St.
- Fanshawe Street Urban Busway – The Fanshawe St upgrade will see an extension of the Northern Busway into the CBD.
- Customs Street Upgrade – The upgrade of Customs St will deliver reliability improvements for both buses and private vehicles.
- Ferry Basin Redevelopment – The redevelopment is to accommodate forecast growth in ferry services
- Downtown Shopping Centre Block Redevelopment – Precinct Properties are embarking on a comprehensive redevelopment of the block including a new retail offering and commercial tower.
- Beach Road Cycleway – This will become a key link with wider connections into the city including the Grafton Gully Cycleway.
- Seawall Upgrade – The seawall between Princes and Marsden Wharf is to be seismically upgraded
- Central Wharves Strategy – The strategy is to address competing demands on the water space and to make best use of the wharf space available to allow growth in cruise, ferry and port activities.
And the four future projects are:
- Hobson Street Flyover Removal – The future removal of the Hobson Street Flyover provides a significant opportunity for additional public space and further connection to the waterfront
- Downtown Carpark Redevelopment – The car park site is a significant opportunity for a potential commercial development and represents one of the last large development sites on the waterfront.
- Federal Laneway Extension – The CCMP identified an ambition to extend Federal Street between Customs and Quay St to provide a new link to the waterfront.
- Central Wharfs & Breastworks Opportunities – The Central Wharves and Breastworks represent an opportunity to work with POAL to maximise public space whilst allowing for port growth
The CCIG have then come up with a range of different implementation options and scenarios to deal with the different scenarios that might come up depending on what eventually gets the go ahead. These are all included in the document being released. One of these looks at what to do with QEII Square and the bus interchange on Lower Queen St. Options range from keeping the status quo through to moving the buses to Albert St and selling QEII Square like we reported on the other day (of note the councillors also agreed to sell the square at the meeting).
So it already seems like we’re heading firmly towards option 3 and here’s an image of what the more people focused space in front of Britomart may look like..
One of the new spaces potentially funded by the sale of the square is at Admiralty basin which is between Queens Wharf and Captain Cook Wharf. Here’s an impression of that.
There’s other interesting discussions to be had based on a briefing Patrick and I received the other day and we will aim to cover some of those in the coming days. For now we’ll just have to wait for the official document which should hopefully be online soon. Update: the document is available here.