This is a guest post from Generation Zero Auckland Director Leroy Beckett

At Generation Zero we are always looking for ways to improve our cities.

Earlier this year we ran a campaign to help save Linear Park that got an overwhelming amount of support, in large part thanks to the work of Greater Auckland.

That, and the conversations we had around why we need Linear Park, started us thinking around the profound change that is happening in our city centre.

As documented here on the blog, the number of people living, working and studying in the CBD has skyrocketed, but the number of cars hasn’t. The CRL and Light Rail will completely redefine the direction of travel in the CBD.

We have already seen great improvements to the city centre in the past decade, the Britomart development, the shared streets, Te Ara I Whiti and the separated cycle lanes.

We are moving towards a city centre thats a place for people, not cars.

We want to help shape that transformation, and speed it along. There are so many more opportunities and great idea’s waiting to happen.

That’s why we are working on our own City Centre Masterplan, that will feed into the Council’s refresh of their plan.

We are starting by asking for ideas at a workshop this Thursday (tomorrow).

We want your ideas and vision of what your ideal low carbon city would look like as, after all, it will be affecting you. We want to hear from people, particularly young people, who spend time in the city, and know how it could be better.

You will also hear from the brilliant minds of Kathryn King, Manager of Walking Cycling and Road Safety at Auckland Transport, and Richard Hills, Auckland Councillor for North Shore.

So if you already live, work and party in Tāmaki Makaurau then nows your chance to bring your transport, housing and spatial design critiques and solutions to the table.

Please RSVP on facebook here.

The event is on Level 3 of the Architecture Building at the University of Auckland, there will be directions on the day!

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  1. A bike share scheme.

    Improved walking and cycling on Symonds Street overbridge from Newton.

    30 km/h zones (pretty much) everywhere.


    A Queen Street waterslide 😉

        1. I always thought it would be cool to do that in some way or another (however impracticable it may be). A small transparent covered stream/water feature leading to the sea. #FreeWaihorotiu

        2. Wow, thanks for that. I hadn’t known the stream’s name. I just grew up knowing from my Nana that we’d fouled the stream and then covered up our shame. Daylighting it and providing rainwater features to recharge it (eg down the Linear Park) would completely change the area. It would be a great exercise in respect for ecology, water, history and culture.

  2. Is there any plans to calm the traffic over Hopetoun bridge – its a key cycling/walking link between the city and Ponsonby. The bridge is currently used by vehicles at high speeds making walking/cycling feel very unsafe with no barriers inbetween them and cars/buses.

    Also be interested in further pedestrianizing Grafton bridge – currently high volume of foot traffic over very narrow foot paths. Buses come incredibly close to pedestrians (often speeding, even worse over the weekend with cars…) and not ideal for cyclists.

    Very keen to improve pedestrian safety in these areas.

      1. Tricky on Grafton Bridge. Can’t narrow road really without affecting buses and bikes… light rail could have (slightly) narrower corridor, but is far away on that route, and would add new issues for bikes.

    1. I don’t believe there are any bus routes on Hopetoun.
      The lanes are very wide. The most annoying thing is the amount of broken glass / smashed bottles. Creating bike lanes would mean the traffic won’t sweep the glass, so I’d prefer it stays as it is now.
      I cycle over it twice per day, rain or shine.

      1. As if to demonstrate the point in Sunday Reading this week about only including fit white men, along comes a fit white man happy to cycle with speeding traffic.

        1. Yes. I’m not prepared to cycle with speeding traffic. Gareth’s idea is a good one. In fact, I have to limit where I and my children cycle all the time, and I really don’t feel I have good access to the city as a result. I’m sure we can solve the street sweeping issue in another way.

    2. Have you ever noticed there are no lights on Hopetoun Bridge. Plenty of lights nearby shining down on the cars in spaghetti junction which all come with headlights. Makes me feel unwelcome as a pedestrian crossing that bridge at night. Please can this be fixed.

  3. More trees, plants, grass areas, etc.

    More Shared spaces (i.e. high street).

    Shorter wait times for pedestrians at pedestrian crossings.

    More Art/Street art.

    More colours (e.g. coloured dot’s on Shortland street, Brightly coloured pedistrian crossings).

    Less car parks.

    1. +1 Car parks have to go and should be occupied by tiny houses until they are redeveloped to green or public spaces. Shorter pedestrian wait times – absolutely. A good measure is that anyone can get to a green space within a four minute walk.

      1. Repurposing multi-storey carparks- I wonder about using shipping containers as vegie growing pods ( 1 container can support 1 acre of planting) and then on ground level have a “farmers market” and food outlets selling the produce. Zero food miles.

        1. With LED lights? Aquaponics is also a cool re-purposing idea for the multistorey carparks. And a CBD recycling centre to locally deal with resources otherwise intended to become a headache for our kids. The blue suits would find it all a bit mind blowing though. Housing is probably more likely to grab their attention, especially if someone can make money from it. :/

  4. I would like to see a secondary school in the middle of the CBD. There are over 1000 kids aged 1-4 living in the CBD at the moment. When those kids reach age 12, they (the boys at least) have to bused to Western Springs for high school. (Auckland Girls is just on the other side of the motorways, if a family has only girl children.). Those of us with kids didn’t move to apartments in the city to then have to drive or bus our kids to the suburbs for school. That makes no sense.

    This is an intersectional question, and will need central govt, Auckland council, a Ministry of Education to work together. If they start now, then maybe there will be a secondary school in ten years when those 1000 kids need it.

    1. Good idea. And the right time for it, as you say. A multi-storey waterfront school could be a cool thing. Wynyard or Queens Wharf maybe?

    2. ACG senior school, 66 Lorne St. No fields nearby thou.

      The CBD is also surrounded by secondary schools:
      St Marys
      Auckland Girls Grammar
      St Peters
      Auckland Boys Grammar
      ACG Parnell
      with more not too much further away.

      1. The CBD is also surrounded by secondary schools:
        St Marys – Only available to catholic girls
        Auckland Girls Grammar – Only available to girls
        St Peters – Private
        Auckland Boys Grammar – available to CBD residents by lottery only
        ACG Parnell – Parnell

        There is a nearby high school for girls, for boys the high school is Western Springs, miles away. It clearly makes more sense to accommodate the thousands of children living in the CBD at a school in the CBD.

      2. ACG is private. Both the Saints are Catholic. Auckland Grammar is out of zone if you’re on the western side of Queen Street. The zoned state secondary school for boys zone is Western Springs.

        1. The zone for Auckland Girls Grammar extends down to Sandringham. This is mad zoning, that CBD boys have to come out to Western Springs and Sandringham girls come into the CBD. AGGS needs to become co-ed. Mt Albert Grammar is coed now; there’s a precedent.

    3. A school at Wynyard Quarter with the planned Hamer St park used as a school field during the week and a public park after 3pm and weekends.

      1. +2

        The Victoria Quarter is going to be really densely populated within five years. I can see four apartment complexes being built out my window right now. This, along with the six blocks between Nelson and Hobson and Vincent, bounded by Union Street and Wellesley Street, is quickly going to become the most densely populated few blocks in the country. Yet pedestrian facilities remain minimal.

        I’d like to see the area be treated as an actual residential centre, rather than just an area through which people can get on and off motorways as quickly as possible.

        Decent footpaths, decent pedestrian crossings, green planting, some kind of noise control, cycle facilities that don’t just treat the area as somewhere to get through when you are going somewhere else.

        I’d also like to see traffic calming measures and enforcement of existing speed limits for outside of rush hours on Hobson and Nelson. It’s plenty slow when everyone is trying to get in and out of town. But outside of rush hours, a certain minority treat the multiple lanes and lack of traffic as an invitation to drag race.

    1. David thanks for that, great work. I hadn’t seen some of those historic shots before. The best we do for that area is to not build what NZTA are planning there, ever. Decide this now and humanise and fix the area with urgency.

  5. Pedestrianise High Street. It is useless as a traffic street, practically useless as a parking street. And having both traffic and parking on it makes it unpleasant as a pedestrian street. I’m astonished that there is still any debate about this.

  6. Safer, nicer pedestrian facilities on the route from the CBD to Freemans Bay Primary School. The only route involves crossing The top of Nelson Street, corner of Union, between 8and 9 am every morning. And the vehicles going through that intersection are all hyped up for aggressive commute driving, so push through the orange lights well into the redights. And at the other end of the cycle they try to push through before all pedestrians have crossed.

  7. Not to be a bore, but Leroy you may not be taken seriously in your writing if your punctuation is so poor.

    You must get your apostrophes right at least!

    Writing ‘thats’ and ‘idea’s’ gives the impression you are uneducated and a very poor communicator.

    1. Leroy, it’s a great post. Nice images, engaging language and ideas. Thanks for all you do. I don’t think I’ll be able to make it because I have a deadline to meet, but will really enjoy hearing about how it goes and what your next step is.

        1. I use language for communication of ideas not as a way to judge individuals. Generation Zero has a very important message and I appreciate the post.

          i also appreciate the depth of your comments, bjfoe, so let’s just leave it at that.

  8. I’d like to see a red light district established in the inner city. Making the trek from Showgirls to the White House then to Calendar Girls is an arduous task for even the fittest individual.

    Red light districts can be a tourist attraction as we’ve seen in Amsterdam. There is a real gap in the market for that style of attraction in Australasia, especially since Sydney’s King’s Cross turned into a militarised zone.

    With some vision we could make an innovative and exciting area that brings people in the city center.

    1. Since they demolished Lipstix it’s really killed the Showgirls, White Lady, Lipstix, Penthouse Loop.

      I’m sure light rail will improve connectivity to Whitehouse and up to K’rd for all patrons.

      It’s just good for tourism and the economy.

  9. Keep all Rapid Transport out of the lower Queen Street CBD, surface running that is.
    RTN should deliver to the peripheries of the CDB either undergrounded or overheard.
    The CRL Aotea station fits this perfectly allowing the surface for vertical parks, pedestrian precincts, cycling and perhaps personal electric traction transport.
    The proposed LRT introduces a large, fastish, dangerous, frequent RTN right through the middle of what should be a pedestrian friendly area. That RTN may even be a through path between LR routes rather than just a destination station in lower Q.
    Removing cars and trucks from the CBD and introducing frequent heavy snakes of LR vehicles seems to be cancelling the ability for pedestrian priority danger free areas.
    Will there be a ban on peds with earphones in the CBD so they can hear approaching LR vehicles?

    1. If you can remember back in the old day’s of the trolley buses they closed off Queen street between Victotia and Wellesly street to all traffic except for the trolleys as they where unable to remove the lines and turned into a pedestrian only mall and it was great

  10. The grafton gully cycleway needs an additional entrance/exit point – on the North west side of symonds st as you come off the bridge over the motorway. You have to loop around upper queen st, big disincentive for walkers and cyclists. Straightforward and low cost

  11. I’d like to see more social housing in the CBD. I think in the UK it’s quite common for resource consents to be conditional on a certain percentage of apartments/units/houses being designated for state housing. We should do that. We have a huge undersupply of social housing, but an even bigger undersupply of apartments in the state housing system.

    1. I’m curious what the total % is these days. Howe Street and Greys Ave both were or are in some mix social housing, but I assume most ‘private’ apartment buildings include some component of social housing (?)

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