City Centre Continues Growth #BetterAuckland

New Measures show City Centre rocketing ahead

 

New measures to measure the outcomes of the objectives of the 2012 City Centre Master Plan have been released and show the City Centre is growing well. Before I start getting comments on what about the suburbs I need not remind readers that Panuku Development Auckland have their Transform, Unlock and Support initiative under way with the first set of plans for Manukau and Onehunga due in March or April. Once those plans come through we can see what resources will be sent to the Panuku areas and what urban renewal projects will come about from them.

 

From Auckland Council:

New city centre measures show homes, transport use and jobs surging ahead

Auckland’s city centre population grew by five times its target rate last year, while jobs growth, retail sales, public transport use, crime reduction and the number of street trees are all performing strongly.

The results have been highlighted by a new set of measures being put forward to chart progress in delivering the City Centre Masterplan (CCMP). These provide a simpler, more focused and more meaningful set of measures than the original 36 published in the CCMP in 2012.

The review of targets has involved teams from across the council group and stakeholders, including the Auckland City Centre Advisory Board (ACCAB). They have been published as a proposal put forward to the Auckland Development Committee for consideration on 11 February.

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.

ACCAB chair Kate Healy says “The city centre is going through one of the most exciting periods of change in its history, with over $10bn of private development anticipated in the coming years as well as transport, streetscape and other major improvements. We need a solid set of readily-reported measures to shape the projects that are being delivered and to chart the impact of this investment.

“Where results are already available, they show the city centre is thriving, with an economy that is making an increasingly important contribution to Auckland and New Zealand as a whole.”

Analysis of the original measures found some did not adequately measure the outcomes, some data was not available at the city centre level, while others were too vague. For example the cycling target has been changed from ‘more kilometres of cycleways’, which has already been achieved, to more challenging and specific six-monthly targets on the numbers of people cycling.

The outcomes published in the CCMP have been largely unchanged, however Outcome 7 has been reworded to include an ambition ‘towards zero pedestrian deaths or serious injuries as a result of vehicle collisions’. This is referred to as ‘Vision Zero’ in some parts of the world.

The targets take into account the potential impact over the next 5 years of major private developments and infrastructure investment. In line with the drive to see the city centre continue to grow and thrive during this period of change, some of the targets are to maintain current levels or rates of growth for five years, to be followed by accelerated improvements later on.

The headline measures and the traffic light indicators of progress are as follows, with further detail and reasoning behind each measure published in the report itself. The report can be found on the Auckland Development Committee agenda.

 

Outcome 1: A vibrant and engaging international destination – an iconic destination and ‘must do’ for the international visitor to New Zealand

1.1     Average length of stay in commercial accommodation in the city centre is maintained at 2.2 nights to 2020, after which it increases. Average for year to Sept 2015 was 2.25
1.2     Total guest nights increase by an average of 1.5% annually to 2020, after which the rate rises. Average annual increase in last five years has been1.4%

 

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.

2.1     Increase the number of people employed in the city centre by 1,800 per year. Annual increase for 2015 was 4,160
2.2     Maintain growth in retail expenditure (5% on average year on year) over the next five years. Annual growth to Sept 2015 was 8.8%

 

Outcome 3: A city centre that meets the needs of a growing and changing residential population.

3.1     All Council city centre programmes and projects to include a focus on the views of children and young people. Will be analysed at end of financial year
3.2     Increase in the proportion of residents who feel a sense of community in the city centre from 33% to 60% by 2040. Awaiting City Centre Residents Survey, due by mid 2016
Supporting targets
3.3     Decrease in crime rates in city centre by 5% every ten years. 2014 data showed a 20%annual drop
3.4     Improved satisfaction with what living in the city centre offers residents. Awaiting City Centre Residents Survey, due by mid 2016
3.5     Increase in resident’s perceptions of a sense of safety in the city centre after dark. Awaiting City Centre Residents Survey, due by mid 2016
3.6     Percentage of assets in the city centre that are graffiti free is more than 90% by 2020. Average rate for 2015 was86.5%

 

Outcome 4: A culturally rich and creative centre – a window on the world where all of Auckland’s many cultures are celebrated.

4.1     All significant council projects in the city centre to reflect the Te Aranga Principles. Will be analysed at end of financial year
4.2     Maintain number of events in the city centre (by event permits) to 2020, after which it increases. Baseline set; progress will be reported annually

 

Outcome 5: An exemplar of urban living – with a wide choice of high-quality residential options.

5.1     Population of the city centre increases by 1,000 people per year. Increased by 5460 in 2015
Supporting targets
5.2     Residents’ perceptions of the city centre as a great place to live are maintained for the next 5 years Awaiting City Centre Residents Survey. due by mid 2016

 

Outcome 6: Hub of an integrated regional transport system – well connected to its urban villages.

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) Last quarter 2015 was58.3% (up from 56.6% a year earlier)
6.2     Achieve a 30% increase in the numbers of people cycling into the city centre in three years. Baseline set for June-Dec 2015; progress will be reported six-monthly

 

Outcome 7: A walkable and pedestrian-friendly city centre, moving towards zero pedestrian deaths or serious injuries as a result of vehicle collisions.

7.1     Pedestrian counts in city centre increase at a faster rate than employment growth. Average increase to Dec 2015 was 7.1%(employment growth was 4.1%)
7.2     Pedestrian improvements will be made to at least two of the identified higher-risk city centre streets each year. 2015 improvements included Beach Road and Nelson Street

 

Outcome 8: An exceptional natural environment and leading environmental performer.

8.1     Air quality to meet World Health Organisation guidelines (particulate matter and NO2). NO2 levels have fallen but remain slightly above guidelines
8.2     Increase in the number of New Zealand Green Building Council minimum 5-star-rated buildings in the city centre by 2 each year. Two in both 2015 and 2014
Supporting targets
8.3     Harbour water quality in the city centre meets recreational standards. Measuring will begin early 2016
8.4     Increase in the number of street trees in the city centre by 25% by 2021. Target already achieved– reset from 2016

 

Outcome 9: World-leading centre for higher education, research and innovation – the hub of creative and innovative products and services.

9.1     Increase the number of international students enrolled at AUT and University of Auckland by 350 per year. Increase for 2014 was 385
9.2     Maintain the percentage of businesses innovating at 80 per cent. Baseline set at Jan 2016; reported in Business Monitor

 

—-ends—

 

Enjoying the views out of Level 26 of the Council tower
Enjoying the views out of Level 26 of the Council tower
Enjoying the views out of Level 26 of the Council tower
Enjoying the views out of Level 26 of the Council tower

 

 

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