Auckland’s newest shared space was officially opened this week and it looks great. The shared space is the 100m+ southern section of Federal St between Mayoral Dr and Wellesley St. The upgrade was first consulted on in late 2017, highlighting just how long even small sections like this take. It also follows on from the upgrade to the Wellesley St to Victoria St section that was completed in 2014.
The Mayoral Drive end of Federal Street is now a tree-lined, pedestrian-scale, community-focused shared space.
The pōhutukawa of St-Matthew-in-the-City now stand beside 13 native trees – pūriri, tānekaha, rewarewa and white maire – some more than six metres tall.
The new trees have been planted along the western side of this 100-metre lane at the southern end of Federal Street.
This Auckland Council-led project features a design narrative, developed in partnership with mana whenua, referencing ideas of compassion, community, home and wellbeing. Those ideas are reflected through warmer paving materials, seating and shelter along the new street.
The space was formally opened on 19 July. Aucklanders can expect an inviting place to sit and relax, enhanced lighting to support the inclusive feeling of the area, and nine rain gardens filtering stormwater before it reaches the waterways.
I haven’t had a chance to check the upgrade out yet but the council provided a few photographs of the transformation
Here’s a quick ride through the space as well as a before and after from Mayor Phil Goff
— Malcolm McCracken (@urbanistfromwhk) July 19, 2022
That there is no through-route should hopefully help this section avoid some of the issues of other shared streets with cars using them as rat runs at times. But the real test here is going to be how well, if at all, Auckland Transport enforce parking. Going by how they treat enforcement in the rest of the city it won’t be long till the place is overrun by illegal parkers and along with that some of the features damaged, such as the rain gardens. Even Phil Goff it seems expects a lack of enforcement based on this from a Newsroom article.
Goff said it’s a place where people “would want to linger” – hopefully not illegally in their vehicles, as he said he hoped illegal parking would not be a problem and wanted to see more powers granted by central Government to Auckland Council to deal with parking infringements.
The upgrade might only be a short area but is a great addition to the city.
The next improvement’s we’ll see completed in the city centre will be the upgrade to Queen St later this year and then the Myers Park Underpass upgrade by the end of summer 2022/23