Downtown Projects and Urban Design

An Academic Debate on Urban Design


Downtown Carpark transformed post CCMP aerial shot
Downtown Carpark transformed post CCMP aerial shot


Later on this afternoon I will be at a briefing on the latest updates for Downtown projects with our Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, and urban design champion Ludo Campbell-Reid (who still needs to get on Twitter 😛 ). The update with Downtown developments comes off an earlier resolution from the Auckland Development Committee as well as an earlier presser for regular updates on the happenings in our City Centre. And so today will be our first of what I hope is many updates.

And yes the irony of getting regular updates on projects outside the City Centre has dawned on me. It is something I will bring up today as a supplementary question to my written substantive question (eeek Parliamentary speak) I had forwarded yesterday.

That substantial question was (seeming it will be making up the bulk of an upcoming blog post):

Context Question: Are these downtown development projects part of the City Centre Master Plan being implemented?
Substantive Question: When will wider Auckland see similar dedication and focus that the City Centre, Downtown and Waterfront are all getting in terms of plans and development projects.
That is when will we see public announcements and media briefings like the one today for Downtown on something like the launch of the Manukau City Centre Master Plan, or the Henderson Metropolitan Centre Plan or any one of the other but often forgotten about Metropolitan Centres which play inaugural part of binding wider Auckland together.
Yes the City Centre is the heart of the Auckland Region but  it can be argued Auckland has a few hearts. Such as Manukau as the heart for South Auckland, Henderson for the West, and in the future Albany for the north. So  quoting the Deputy Mayor in that Manukau needs loving, when will that love come out the Metropolitan Centres (the Town Centres I believed are going to be covered in the Area Plans that are on their way so not particular interested in the Town Centres in this question) especially as it seeming resentment is growing against a perceived pro CBD policy at the expense of the wider region.
The West Auckland recent issues have given further stress and emphasis to getting places like our Metropolitan Centres up to spec so that local communities have thriving hubs that would mitigate (but not entirely eliminate and I know that as a Geographer) deprivation issues the South and West are facing.
So maybe we might see yourselves (Penny and Ludo) outside a Metropolitan Centre in the near future doing an announcement like the briefing today for Downtown before the end of the year?


The question comes from in essence the two questions here: Two Questions Now to be asked of Council where the Council does need the ratepayer onside for often good projects we are seeing in Downtown Auckland. The last thing anyone needs is the PR disaster like the Auckland Transport offsiding with a very large segment of the City over those shuttles. The very PR disaster that will make the ratepayer buy in on AT projects much harder than otherwise is necessary.

Also I am hoping the substantive question might prod Council along as well.

Manukau Mall Station and the Manukau Metro Town Centre (looking West to East)
Manukau Mall Station and the Manukau Metro Town Centre (looking West to East)


What is Urban Design?

I saw this academic article earlier this morning on urban design. I might bring it along and give it to Ludo for his reading pleasure.

The article:  Urban design: requiem for an era – review and critiqueof the last 50 years – Alexander R. Cuthbert*


I will have a look at this article while on the train to and from Britomart and run commentary on the piece tomorrow. Needless to say these was offered as a quick critique on urban design:


and this one which we get confused with