The ADM’s Top Four New Year Resolutions for Auckland

January 29, 2015

Design for Auckland

As these endless summer days shine upon the shimmering waters of our three beloved harbours, the mighty Manukau, Waitemata and Kaipara and the dust settles on celebrating 175 years of our great city, it’s time to look forward and think about the year ahead for Auckland.

Here’s our top four resolutions for Auckland in 2015:

1) Taking greater steps to a walkable Auckland.

Auckland’s population is on the rise and so too is our foot traffic. A steady increase in pavement pounders has meant our city’s infamous love affair with the car is beginning to fade. After all, from the pedestrians’ point of view – many of our inner city streets are very car centric. Pedestrians experience long waits at traffic lights and frequently have to watch out for cars that cross the pavement enroute to parking amenities.

This New Year resolution is about improving the walking options for those moving through our city on foot. It’s about efficiently getting pedestrians from A to B. It’s about safety, because walkable circuits provide pedestrians with an alternative to car-dominated streets. It’s also about health and wellbeing, because walking circuits reinforce active lifestyles when they’re visually interesting, social and safe places to be in.

What can we look forward to?

Waterfront Auckland continues to lead the way by opening up even more of our fantastic waterfront. This year we can expect a promenade that will offer a world class walkway and cycleway around the Westhaven Marina. This will form part of a 20km continuous walkway that stretches from Herne Bay to Tamaki Drive. Read more

The City Centre Masterplan’s green circuit continues to grow, as further sections are delivered. The latest being the second section of the Daldy Street Linear Park that flows into the Wynyard Quarter. This will ultimately join Victoria and Albert Parks with Victoria Street and our waterfront to create a walking and exercise circuit for those lunch-time jogs or evening strolls. Read more about the Green Link

The ADM will also be presenting a range of new street design examples from around the world that will showcase designs that elevate walkability. These new case studies will be released throughout 2015.

Wynyard

Wynyard Quarter, the walking quarter.

2) Trying new things:

The New Year is about embracing change. So it’s a good time to try out new design ideas in our public spaces. This New Year’s resolution is about re-imagining our public spaces. It’s about exploring opportunities to set up more intermediate projects, which use temporary materials that allow for new design ideas to be test driven. They can be designed to last for a couple of days, weeks, months, or even years. And, have the added benefit of giving the public a chance to experience and respond to the design idea, before any major changes are decided on. Trying out new designs is a great way to keep our city interesting and keep our communities engaged in our public spaces.

Who’s been trying new things lately?

Auckland’s Anniversary weekend provided the perfect opportunity for the council to experiment and investigate how to better use a number of our waterfront public spaces, including lower Queen Street and the intersection with Quay Street, and Queens Wharf. Temporary installations of artificial-grass, deckchairs, lounge furniture, exhibition stands and busker points were all introduced and monitored to understand how Aucklanders respond to and want to use these spaces. This will also help to inform the planning and design for future projects.

Auckland Transport have set up a parklet at the top of New North Road, which creates a unique experience for walkers who are able to pause, and enjoy a touch of green grass, and a much needed respite from the concrete sidewalks, as they take in the views.

175 anniversary

One of the many 175 Auckland Anniversary street installations.

buskers fest site

One of the pop-up busking sites around the waterfront – Eastern Viaduct.

Chess on Queens Wharf

Pop up outdoor chess on Queens Wharf.

3) Designing and developing with the CRL in mind.

The CRL (City Rail Link) is coming down the track, and its impact will be massive and far reaching, with great opportunities to enhance the city centre – and wider regional centres – in so many ways. This New Year’s resolution is about ensuring we all are considering these opportunities and developing integrated housing, offices and retail around train stations with the CRL commuter in mind. These stations are potential centres for thriving economic activity and developments that cater for the growing stream of CRL commuters will no doubt reap the benefits.

To support this resolution, the ADM will be releasing three new practical design guides in 2015 on mixed use buildings, office buildings and retail projects. Each guide will assist developers, planners and designers to work together to achieve the best value from their designs.

Britomart

Britomart station.

4) Affordable homes for today and tomorrow

We all know that affordable housing is in short supply in Auckland and demand is at an all-time high. However, we don’t have to look far to find the mistakes of yesteryear when the short-term construction cost was the only consideration. Affordability for the buyer and viability for the developer are always important design considerations alongside the longer term sustainability of the project for everybody.

This New Year’s resolution is about widening the understanding of how design delivers affordability, viability and sustainability. It’s about following a good design process to reduce the costs of building today and the costs of maintaining homes tomorrow.

To spark your inspiration for the year ahead, the ADM will be releasing a range of new case studies that include some innovative affordable housing models from across the ditch in Australia, and the West Coast of the United States.
To provide practical support, the ADM’s examples also demonstrate viable solutions for typical Auckland housing sites that have considered affordability and sustainability as part of the overall quality of the project.

Ladies Mile

Ladies Mile, Ellerslie.

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