The paper, titled City Centre Masterplan 2040, is a 20-year plan that focusses on the theme “Access for Everyone". If actioned, it will turn our city centre into a place to go to, not a place to go through.
Some of the key suggestions are:
• If you have to go through, it's easier – this is in regard to emergency services, mobility requirements, private car parks, shuttles etc.
• When driving to the city centre, you will have to enter and exit from the same zone.
• Cross-town traffic will be re-routed to Customs St, Mayoral Drive and the motorways (you will need to drive around the city centre).
• Queen St will be partly or fully pedestrianised, with light rail to assist the commute.
• The cross streets and side streets of Queen St will also be pedestrianised.
Auckland councillors are set to debate on the report next week, and according to Ludo Campbell-Reid, general manager of the council's Auckland Design Office (ADO) and author of the plan, it is being proposed at the right time.
100,000 people currently work in the city centre, and 57,000 live there – these numbers are set to rise in the coming years due to several developments underway in the area: from luxury hotels, to the waterfront development and the massive Commercial Bay project.
"The changes are forcing a rethink anyway," says Ludo.
The report is also directly linked to work being achieved under ATEED’s Destination AKL 2025 strategy, which outlines a new direction to improve Auckland’s visitor economy. Several of the goals proposed in Destination AKL will be helped along by Ludo’s 20-year plan, such as improving walkability and cyclability in the city and on the waterfront, improving sustainability, and ensuring the visitor economy is integrated into infrastructure planning.
For more information on City Centre Masterplan 2040, please see Ludo Campbell-Reid’s exclusive with New Zealand Herald.