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City Centre doing well

Auckland is currently experiencing rapid and profoundly positive change and nowhere is that more evident than in the city centre. What’s more the speed and scale of the change is only increasing with billions of dollars of mostly private investment about to be pumped in. While some of the change we’ve see has been driven by legacy councils and plans, since 2012 the council has been guided by the City Centre Master Plan (CCMP) which is a 20 year vision for the area.

The CCMP pulls together a range of ideas and projects for how the city centre should be improved. Lots of pretty pictures on things to do are one thing, the council also needs to be able to show that positive change is actually happening like the suggested it will. As such the CCMP contains a range of measures across nine different high level outcomes.

  • Outcome 1: A vibrant and engaging international destination – an iconic destination and ‘must do’ for the international visitor to New Zealand
  • Outcome 2: A globally significant centre for business – the Engine Room of the Auckland economic powerhouse with a vibrant and vital retail and commercial core.
  • Outcome 3: A city centre that meets the needs of a growing and changing residential population.
  • Outcome 4: A culturally rich and creative centre – a window on the world where all of Auckland’s many cultures are celebrated.
  • Outcome 5: An exemplar of urban living – with a wide choice of high-quality residential options.
  • Outcome 6: Hub of an integrated regional transport system – well connected to its urban villages.
  • Outcome 7: A walkable and pedestrian-friendly city centre, moving towards zero pedestrian deaths or serious injuries as a result of vehicle collisions.
  • Outcome 8: An exceptional natural environment and leading environmental performer.
  • Outcome 9: World-leading centre for higher education, research and innovation – the hub of creative and innovative products and services.

For the first time the council have reviewed the measures and how performance has been against them. The results are being presented to the Council’s Development Committee today. The council say

The report shows that nine of the 17 headline measures are meeting or exceeding targets; two measures are slightly below target, while the rest are awaiting further data. Of the seven supporting measures, the three where data is already available are exceeding target.

Below is a quick dashboard showing how the city is performing.

CCMP Performance Dashboard 1 CCMP Performance Dashboard 2 CCMP Performance Dashboard 3

The full report can be found here from page 29. It also breaks down where they’re getting the information from for the report. Here are a couple of the measures above in more detail.

Population is growing well above expectations.

City Centre Population - 1996-2015 2

More and more people are entering the city not in a car – note this doesn’t include people walking and cycling which would shift the number of non-car users over 50%.

CCMP Performance Vehicle Trips

 

As mentioned the review also looked at the measures themselves not just the outcomes. As a result of that they removed some measures and while some make sense, a few of those measures removed are a little disappointing. For example, they removed the measure “Reduction in pedestrian waiting times at intersections” which is a shame as far too many of our intersections are outright hostile to people, even some in the city.

Overall it looks like the city is doing ok and given everything that’s going on in the city centre or is planned too, those measures will only likely improve further.

60 comments to City Centre doing well

  • Nick

    The people not driving / driver numbers comparison is funny. I bet they did a comparison between numbers of people using PT and number of people travelling by car, found that more people travel by car, and hit upon the genius idea of splitting out the passenger from the driver to get the numbers down.

    • Not sure what your point is, it is useful to measure the numbers of people independently from vehicles; average occupancy per car is 1.2 humans, if we could get that up then the roads would be being used more efficiently, unfortunately the trend has been in the other direction…

      The real missing stat there is the Active users. This really needs better counting and including. More walkers and bike riders are even better than more Transit users.

    • Hi Nick – the original target looked at PT against those in cars. However this did not distinguish between those people driving the cars (and therefore adding to road congestion) and those who were passengers (and therefore do not add to congestion). The problem with that is a large increase in carsharing could see cars come off the roads and help aid the efficiency of people going in and out of the city… but you wouldn’t see it in the figures.
      This change is to fix that anomaly.

      • Brendan

        Oliver, shouldn’t “6.1. By 2040, more than 70% of people commuting into the city centre by vehicle will not be driving cars (travelling by public transport or as car passengers)” also include people on bicycles, given that bicycles are vehicles according to the Land Transport Act 1998?

        http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1998/0110/latest/DLM433619.html

        • Hi Brendan,
          Ideally we’d have a figure here that includes walking and cycling – but they’re collected in different ways and so they’re not quite comparable. We have systems now that can give us numbers for people coming in by car or PT into the city each month; for walking you need people out there counting; the cycling digital counters are virtually a cordon around the city centre… but they’re not quite counting everyone. Therefore we’re using those counters as an indicator of volume and the target is about the percentage increase and – in line with NZTA targets – is counting total use rather than morning peaks.
          Hence one measure that covers vehicles, another for cycling and another for walking.

          • I think Brendan’s point is: stop referring to “vehicles” when you actually mean “motor vehicles”…

          • Brendan

            Pretty much.

            Refer to vehicles when you mean contrivance equipped with wheels, tracks, or revolving runners on which it moves or is moved (including bicycles, hovercrafts, skateboards, in-line skates, and roller skates) and motor vehicles when you mean a vehicle drawn or propelled by mechanical power.

  • Neil

    The CBD is doing great. Pity nothing is being done for Manukau, Waitakere or North Shore, let alone Rodney and Franklin. This is what was forecast would happen when the super city was formed.

    • Well the metropolitan centres get much more opportunity to grow and grow better post Unitary plan. So long as the greedy grey grizzlers and their lying cheerleaders don’t fuck it up for us all….

    • North Shore is awesome. Takapuna is doing great, heaps of investment there in the new park-plaza and beach front, lots of investment going in around it. Albany is finally sprouting up with apartments and development too.

    • Bryan

      I thought the council was pouring money into Westgate (for Waitakere/Rodney residents)?

    • Tony

      Aint that the truth Neil. Rodney goes goes backward as the the centre shoots ahead (presumably Franklin also). Nice for some.

      What boggles the mind is how they manage to do even worse than the hopeless RDC did.

      • RHarris

        I do wonder if these people who moan step out of their house. Everytime I go to Rodney I’m always surprised at the investment and change. The Welsford $3m library would never had got built if it wasnt for the super city.

    • mfwic

      That is why they formed the super city. To divert money from the edges to the middle.

      • Luke C

        hahaha Rodney was in debt, had no money for anything, totally run down. Also 57,000 people live the Rodney ward, 3.8% of people in Auckland. Within a few years more people will be living in the CBD than live in Rodney.
        Also Rodney has an area of around 200,000 hectares, compared to around 500 hectares in the CBD, so Rodney is 400 times the size of the CBD, with only 50% more population.
        Spending money is highly efficient as it is a very small area, but used by hundreds of thousands of people a day, as well as being the tourist gateway.
        Also worth noting most of the CBD money comes from a targeted rate anyway,

        • Tony

          Is there a point to your mean spirited little rant? You feel 57000 so-called Aucklanders don’t deserve decent council services maybe? Or that because the previous council was shit it should remain shit or get worse?

          Also, if most of the CBD money comes from the targeted rate, does that mean the targeted rate is higher than the general rate? That’s an impressive feat.

          • Sailor Boy

            The targetted rate is in addition to the general rates.

            Rodney get more than its fair share of the budget.

        • Tony

          1 No shit. But ‘most’ of the money doesn’t come from it unless it’s larger than the general rate.

          2 Evidence. Again.

          Also, it’s not just about money. How about some structural plans (or whatever the hell they’re called now) before consultation starts on the unitary plan? Kumeu Helensville etc…

          • Good grief; that pool in Manukau is great value for money, giving city kids something physical and healthy to do all day in Summer is way better than having bored and feckless and chugging down sugar without much activity.

            Certainly way better value for money than the highly subsidised Golf course in Remmers.

        • Bruce

          It’s only 57,000 people since 35,000+ (possibly 40,000+) have been stripped out of Rodney to make Hibiscus and Bays. So you are basically dismissing 6.1%+ of the Auckland population. Yes the new Rodney is pretty rural so shouldn’t be getting that much in the way of city amenities however the Hibiscus coast is now very urban and needs more city amenity.

    • JBM

      Wasn’t the North-West shopping centre recently opened somewhere near the end of the NW Motorway?. Apparently the biggest shopping mall in NZ or something like that.

      Otahuhu just got a spectacular new community/sporting hub. It will also get a brand new train/bus interchange. The long awaited Manukau bus interchange should get some legs this year or next year. Situated next to the pretty flash MIT building directly above the Manukau Train Station. However, perhaps the most impressive thing that is going on in Manukau at the moment is the soon to be opened state of the art whitewater park. The Wero whitewater facility will be world class in every respect.

      • JBM

        It should also be noted that Howick ward councillors Dick Quax and Sharon Stewart vehemently opposed the council funded portion of the whitewater facility right from the start. So the next time they pipe up about how the CBD is getting all the funding at the expense of the periphery in the super city, kindly laugh in their general direction.

      • Tony

        From memory the Westgate thingie was a joint project between the old Waitakere council and private developers. It has sweet fuck all to do with Rodney.
        Funny how that’s considered the northwest of Auckland though, as if there’s nothing northwest of there.

        Also nice how you get a fancy waterpark. Any news as to when we get our free pool in Helensville?

        • JBM

          Well, the point is that there is development happening around the periphery. I was replying to Neil’s post that there was nothing happening in Manukau amongst other towns in the region. Perhaps your councillors in Rodney might need to do a bit more work to advocate for your area.

        • Why the hell would Helensville get a free pool? There’s only 2,500 people there, about 800 ratepayers, which makes it about half the size of a small suburb. There is no way that a free public pool for 2,500 people is in anyway a fair allocation of rates. The whole North Shore only has public two pools… shared by one hundred times as many people.

          Getting your fair share doesn’t necessarily mean getting the same thing as everyone else, it means getting your fair share.

          • Tony

            Well why the hell would Manukau get a whole 20million for a white water park. Does that fit your concept of a fair share?

          • Also, there’s two separate pool complexes in Parakai, 3km away. A four-minute drive, an easy cycling distance, and entirely possible to walk.

          • Nick R

            Yes it does, perfect example. About half a million people live within 15km of Manukau, so that facility can easily serve a bunch of people equivalent in size to all of Wellington, at a construction cost of about $40 a head.

            Within 15km of Helensville you have Helensville, Parakai and Kaukapakapa. Total population of about 7,500 people.

            So if everyone gets their fair share then your neighborhood deserves $40 a head too for recreational facilities. However if you’re wanting a new public swimming pool at a few million bucks, you’re actually asking for more than $400 per person.

            So yes, I don’t think expecting ten times more than the people of south Auckland counts as a fair share.

          • Tony

            Forgotten about all the existing facilities your 1/2 a million had access to before gifting another 20 mil for a theme park?

            But lets say it is $40 a head. Did anyone down there consider offering it to Parakai pools in return for free access for under 16s? Too hard for this council though I suspect.

          • No not at all, haven’t forgot about the existing facilities in Helensville or the rest of Rodney either. If you think you’re getting a hard ride then talk to your local board and councillors, ask how much rates revenue the board collects and how it is budgeted. You might be surprised at how small it is with the number of ratepayers measured in the low thousands.

            But at the end of the day the area centered on Manukau is always going to have about a thousand times as much spent on it than Helensville, if everyone gets their fair share, because there are about a thousand times as many people living there.

          • JBM

            It should be noted that the Wero whitewater park is really for all of Auckland and New Zealand. There are not too many like it around the world. The closest one to NZ is the one in Penrith, Sydney, but that one doesn’t have as much functionality. There is only one other whitewater park in the world that has 2 rivers.

            This place will produce New Zealand’s future Olympic athletes in kayaking.

    • stu donovan

      City centre has subsidised the suburbs for years. Partly because of business rates differential.

      The recent investment in the citt centre is simply correcting for decades of neglect under right leaning councils, whereby the city centre was used as a cash cow to fund projects in suburban areas, or to keep rates low. The suburbs now have to pay their way more than they did before, that’s all.

  • Outcome 10: City wide private vehicle VKT decrease by x% annually and private vehicles entering Centre City reduced by x% annually…..

  • peterc

    Pity some of these positives weren’t being mirrored in all suburbs, Mt Albert village for example being the pits – the local board has had to shell out to build a decent access to the railway station, Auckland Transport having ducked that one and Council blowing too much money Downtown so the upgrade keeps getting deferred…….

  • Brutus Iscariot

    The transport side has definitely improved, but on the social side i see a continued rise in begging, intimidation, and general antisocial behaviour in the CBD. Walking up Queen Street in broad daylight is often an uncomfortable experience, let alone 10pm+ on a Friday or Saturday night.

    I’ve been called some variation of faggot/gay, or challenged to a fight, several times by strangers during daylight hours in Auckland CBD – that has never happened to me in any overseas city though they may have higher nominal crime rates.

    There’s a distinct undercurrent of aggression and hostility that the Auckland city centre needs to ditch before it can compete with other downtown areas as a pleasant place to visit.

    • George D

      Totally agree. Aggressive begging and intimidation is already illegal, the police just need to enforce it.

      At the same time we need a genuine increase in affordable housing. The problem will get worse before it gets better.

    • You must be in a very different city centre from the one I walk around every single day. I never have any problems.

    • Bruce

      and unfortunately most of it is from maori/pacific islanders. It is hard for people to enjoy a night out in town when there is the constant threat that an attack could occur at any moment. Of course the police don’t/can’t do much about it without looking like they are profiling.

      • You just can’t help yourself with the racist comments, can you? I wish there was a “mod alert” button for occasions like this.

        • Bruce has a good point. This kind of political correctness for partially explains how the entire migration issue in Belgium went to hell.

          You get a sequence of events like this:
          1. There is a problem with crime, and those crimes are perpetuated mainly by some minority. The reasons may vary, maybe it is cultural. Maybe it is correlated with poverty or disenfranchisement.
          2. But it Shall Not Be Mentioned, because otherwise you’re a racist
          3. So the police or politicians or the media might try to ignore or even deny the problem.
          4. Eventually members of said minority figure this out and realise they can just go ahead without any worry about penalties.

          Note how (2) and (3) also preclude solving any of these possible problems mentioned in (1).

          One example is that gang-rape in Cologne, which they managed to keep out of the media for a few days, and when it came out, we got some clumsy announcement from the mayor that ‘women should be careful not to dress too provocative to avoid trouble’.

        • Bruce

          Just calling it as it is – which is observant. But hide behind the any criticism is racist card Daphne.
          Just look up any crime statistics in Auckland and it is overwhelmingly disproportionately showing Maori and PI in the figures despite their minority share of the population (and that is after the blind-eye is often turned in the above circumstances). I have never once been threatened or assaulted in Auckland by anyone other than Maori or PI (and yes I have been king hit in the back of the head by someone asking if I had some “sculls” with no other provocation or even noticing anyone before that – same goes for the group of people I was with at the time who also got attacked – again for no reason).
          It is rare to have a night in town in Auckland without seeing some drunk/high/agro/macho Maori/PI picking a fight with a stranger or making a general nuisance of themselves. Not all of course but out of proportion.

          • Sailor Boy

            Bruce, trying to claim that you aren’t being racist is bullshit. You are implying that the race with the least political power is somehow controlling the police. Failure to recognise structural inequality like that is racism.

  • Does anyone know what the 4x 5star rated green buildings are? (8.2)
    Guessing that the ASB building down at Wynyard is one.

  • kelvin

    Improvement to city living:
    They urgently need public school, public college, kindergarten and playgroup in city.

    People once have kids will move out to suburb. We need to stop that trend.

    • The hardest challenge will be solving the problem of having most of your streets look like this.

      https://www.google.com/maps/@-36.851497,174.7600027,3a,90y,212.74h,93.12t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYTN0q7f-9EVj7tYOjwsiZg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

      Hobson and Nelson streets are often derided here, but in the category of 5+ lane streets, we have also Cook Street, Albert Street, Mayoral Drive, Wellesley Street, Victoria Street. And that is just this corner of the city.

      Not that suburban streets are any nicer, but at least you have your own private cocoon to shield you from the city / urban wasteland (take your pick) around you.

      • Bruce

        Although many (most) cities around the world have wider and more of these type arterial streets.
        Most of these in Auckland could quite easily have a bus lane in them though so I don’t know why this isn’t happening.

        • Not at all. These streets are more than 20 metres wide (as in space between buildings). In Brussels and Antwerp, two cities near where I grew up, I think most streets are less than 10 metres wide. Of course they have big arterials as well (they are sometimes called boulevards), but those are a minority.

          Having this amount of big wide streets is a hallmark of relatively recent New World cities.

  • The Real Matthew

    Rather than comparing he city centre with artificial targets a more useful measurement would be to compare the central city with other parts of Auckland.

    It could be that all of Auckland is booming, not just the central city.

    • stu donovan

      We’ve covered this before. And the targets are more nuanced than you think. For example auckland plan sets targets for region, e.g. gdp growtg. Ccmp then interpets those targets in context of city centre. Basically, all of auckland is growing but the city centre is growing the most.

  • Is there really parking for 30K cars in the CBD?

  • Angus Robertson

    Which other cities did you benchmark this claim of “rapid and profoundly positive change” against?

    • stu donovan

      You don’t need to benchmark something that is bloody obvious.

      The city centre is booming, any number of indicators show that: pop growth, land/property values etc.

  • Early Commuter

    Be interested in those crime rate stats. Here are Auckland City Central stats last few FYs

    2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14
    20317 18609 16927 20523 16630 13614
    (14/15 somehow not on infoshare)

  • RHarris

    Do enjoy going to the city centre more over the last 5 years. Is lowly starting to feel like an international city, still a wee way to go. More pedestrian spaces, more of a “NZ feel” not just borrowing from overseas, more entertainment options, more low cost food options around queen st that arent fast food, less banks on queen street.

  • Jeff T

    Love living in the city centre as much as others love living in the suburbs. City centre has become a vibrant urban environment.

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