59: Missing from the City Centre Series: Street Kiosks


What if there were flower sellers on Queen Street?

Our city centre is really starting to burgeon with pedestrian activity and public life through the day and well into the evening, seven days a week. You know, just like a real city.

As this street life continues to gain in vibrancy, it seems a good opportunity to look at some simple things we could do that might enhance that even further.

Street kiosks are one of those things that many Kiwis comment on when returning from cities overseas.

While many of the things that street kiosks provide in cities internationally are well catered for here in other ways (e.g. street food, convenience newsagents/tobacconists stalls), flower sellers do seem like a gap that could bring a number of positive benefits to the likes of Queen Street.

Flower sellers that are there to make the most of trade with the passing footfall could be a great wee convenience for a bunch of reasons that people are in the city centre – flowers for the office, on the way to a date, meeting a friend, celebratory drinks or just passing by on the way home on the bus – that aren’t really catered for on our city centre streets currently. These sorts of things and the social interaction they promote also adds a lot of colour and vibrancy to street life. In a small way, wouldn’t realising these sorts of ideas lead to a better Auckland? What’s not to like?

Stuart Houghton 2014

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  1. I remember seeing a preso from one the melbourne guys that pedestrianized swanson st. He said the famous flower kiosks were given licences to sell only if they were staying open until late night. That worked to give life to the street.

  2. How about shoe shine stands? I suppose it’s a sign how egalitarian we are… but I really, really would rather pay someone $20 than shine my own shoes. I absolutely can’t understand why this doesn’t happen in Auckland.

  3. I like the little coffee kiosk next to Britomart. The queue outside shows how useful these places are.Takeaway stuff is fine, but we dont want too much overlap with the sit-down cafes and other retailers. It’s a strange thing when the retailers pay the rates, which are spent on public seating environments and shared spaces which then attract competition for those original retailers. I know, people attract people and all, but how would you feel if a kebab seller opened right outside your kebab store and undercut you by 50c?

    We could have some food carts…Hotdogs, pretzels, icecream and grilled sweet corn but maybe a restriction on how many items they can sell..eg , you can only do Sweetcorn, and nothing else.

    The White Lady has been there for years and nobody minds – what’s the fee for that sort of ‘tenancy’? Obviously not rates, but some other contribution to the neighbourhood? If its successful, why aren’t there more? There are plenty of parking spaces available.

  4. It would require a change in Auckland councils current crack down on “on street advertising” to really work.

    Sydney CBD has heaps of mini news stands and fruit stalls that are part of their JC Decaux street furniture contract… But they really need the advertising to work well,

  5. I am with you greenwelly – the Council will kill this idea.
    The Councils present policy on streetside dining and advertising signs, says to me that they do not want any activitiy on the pavement other than pedestrians.

  6. When I was a kid a florist in one of the lanes of Queen St had to close due to a fire in the neighbour’s building Her insurance company let her sell from their steps on Queen St. She traded better and Queen St looked nicer until her shop was reopened.

  7. Great idea. It would definitely make the streets more attractive. Maybe some decent live bands and arcades as well!

  8. Maybe we could take out some of our unnecessary roadside car-parking, and replace it with bicycle parking and street stalls. I’m sure that food trucks and other retailers would take up the challenge.

    Come to think of it, this is quick and easy. A few car parks, for six months or a year. Come on, whoever is responsible for this…

  9. I’ve always wondered why there isn’t a line of cheap eat food stalls on the Symonds St over bridge near Auckland Uni. It would provide a bit of life and commerce to the student area.

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