Over the last month the council have been consulting on their ideas for refreshing the City Centre Masterplan (CCMP). Today is the final day for submissions. Submitting is easy and can be done in just a few minutes so jump on in.
We’ve written about the refresh and the key changes in it a few times already but here’s a quick recap.
The refresh is needed as the current version was adopted back in 2012 and a lot has changed over seven years. Changes include a lot more people are living in, working in or visiting the city. There is also significant investment now occurring with billions of dollars of projects underway from both the public and private sectors, including of course the City Rail Link which back in 2012 was still being bitterly opposed by the former government.
The CCMP is based around 10 strategic outcomes. These are by in large the same as in the original version but wording has been updated and the priority of a few have changed around. There is more detail on them here but as a summary,
- Our place in the world
- Accessible city centre
- Inclusive, engaging and child-friendly city centre
- Green city centre
- Public life
- Liveable city centre (NEW)
- Quality built form
- Heritage-defined city centre
- Sustainable city centre
- Prosperous city centre
We’re supportive of all of these outcomes. Our biggest concern is we would like more and stronger targets, and that these targets are more prominent in the document. For example, buried in the text of outcome 2 is that the council wants to see car trips to the city at peak times drop by 20%. We believe targets like these should be put upfront and easily locateable so both the public and agencies can clearly understand and work towards them.
The accessible city centre includes the Access for Everyone concept which I’ll cover later.
To help achieve those outcomes, there are eight ‘transformational moves‘ which are also related to specific locations within the city centre. The eight moves are:
We’re supportive of all of these – although many are largely the same as in the original version. Many of these moves are largely the same as in the previous plan and are just updated slightly. Below are some of the big changes and new additions or areas that could do with some extra attention.
The East and West Stitch
The core of the city centre has been or is improving but areas just outside of that, around Hobson/Nelson streets and Grafton Gully, are cut off by major roads resulting in the land being undervalued and underdeveloped.
On the western side the plan calls for re-tuning Hobson and Nelson streets to make them more pedestrian friendly but the big change is on the eastern side with the Grafton Gully Multiway Boulevard proposal. That would see Stanley St and The Strand changed from a pseudo motorway into a tree lined boulevard that supports development.
The redevelopment of land around these streets, including at Quay Park is about 260,000m², equal 60% the size of the development at Wynyard so would have enough space for thousands of new residents and employees.
Waihorotiu Queen St Valley
We’re completely supportive of this however given the current delays we’re seeing to the Light Rail project, we want the plan not to rely to occur first before making improvements to Queen St. Changes, such as we’ve seen this week on High St, should be looked to as measures to replicate on Queen St and network of laneways as soon as possible.
Rapid Transit Supported Growth
We are supportive of this move and for the CCMP refresh are pleased to see the inclusion of the Dominion Rd Junction node, which would see the Dominion Rd interchange removed and all of the land around it redeveloped. We would also like more information included about how those modes are connected to improvements on the active mode networks
The Green Link
We have long supported the key ideas in the Green Link, including the Victoria St Linear Park. This refresh also includes the re-opening of the Albert Park Tunnels and we would like the council to take a stronger role in facilitating that.
Access for Everyone
The biggest change to the CCMP is the addition of Access for Everyone which looks to change how people get around the city centre to help make the city centre more people friendly. This would also see the core of the city, Queen St and some of the surrounding streets, become pedestrian focused. Traffic flows in other parts of the city centre would also be changed based around the idea of eight other low-traffic neighbourhoods that you could drive in but not between.
Just this week we’ve seen the first trial of this with the changes to High St.
Remember, consultation closes today so if you haven’t already, get submitting.