It is all about the connectivity
In Part 22 I looked at how Manukau needs a vibrant heart to support the wider Transform Manukau program and the ambitions of Southern Auckland. You can see that respective post here: #ourmanukau Key Move 2: Creating a Vibrant Heart. Part 22 of the #TransformManukau Series. A good heart can not be isolated however from its body (the community) and needs to have decent connectivity in order for #ourmanukau to be a success.
So in this post I take a look at Panuku Development Auckland’s Manukau Framework Plan – ‘Key Move Five: Enhancing Community Connectivity’.
What is Enhancing Community Connectivity?
From the Manukau Framework Plan:
Key move five – Enhancing community connectivity
Manukau will continue to be transformed from a car-based centre. There will be better connections to surrounding communities through improved public transport, and easier walking and cycling options.
Key elements of the move include:
- upgrading Great South Road as an important north–south urban avenue
- delivering a mass transit route from the airport to Botany, via central Manukau
- creating a comprehensive cycle network
- making it easy, safe and attractive to walk around Manukau.
If Key ‘Move Two’ is the heart of Manukau then ‘Key Move Five’ is the arteries connecting the heart to the body that is Southern Auckland. For both the heart and body to work efficiently you need a good artery system to provide that connectivity. Enter ‘Key Move Five.’
Note: As ‘Key Move Five’ interlinks with ‘Key Move Two’ there will be linking back to Key Move Two through this post.
The Context leading to ‘Key Move Five: Enhancing Community Connectivity’
While Manukau was founded as a car-centric Centre in the 1970’s the irony of the auto-dependency created from this become Manukau’s blessings as Transform Manukau gets underway. Manukau is surrounded and connected by wide avenues with large grass medians running down the middle. Manukau is also connected by the Eastern Rail Line terminating at Manukau Station, the Southern and South Western Motorways, and acts as the central Southern Auckland for busses with the soon to be completed Manukau Bus Station (opens May 2018).
The wide range of transport connections to, around and through Manukau give the foundation for ‘Key Move Five,’ something other larger Metropolitan Centres would be envious of.
If we take a look at ‘Goal Two: Manukau’s form and the way the place touches the land’ both the history and what Panuku have outlined for Manukau give rise to the importance of ‘Key Move Five’ (and ‘Key Move Two’):
You can see Key Move’s Two and Five are closely interwoven as Panuku outlines the goals, opportunities and challenges for the Transform Manukau area. That is not to say the other ‘Key Move’ are in isolation however, for now I am focusing on just those two ‘Key Moves’ otherwise you would end up with a very long blog post.
We can see the context for where Manukau historically sits as well as how it is blessed with a good set of bones that allow such great opportunities for urban regeneration over the next twenty-five years.
Key Moves One, Two and Five all coming together which allow the other Key Moves to be realised fully.
The wider Manukau focus that leads into the following below:
The Goal for Manukau with its built form and its enhanced community connectivity within itself and to wider Southern Auckland.
Key Move Five – Enhancing Community Connectivity
The heart and body can not function (well not very well any way) with out decent connections between the two. Enter connectivity with the transport system being the arteries connecting the heart (Manukau) to the body (Southern Auckland). As noted before Manukau was built as a car-centric Centre with the car as the dominant form of transport. While busses have always been present and recently rail via the Manukau Station trying to walk or cycle through Manukau is not a very pleasant experience.
However, the wide avenues of Manukau that are currently hostile to pedestrians also provide that blessing to Manukau as well. The blessings being that the avenues can be easily retrofitted to allow a more hospitable walking and cycling environment. The wide avenues also allow retrofitting for bus lanes (given Manukau has the Manukau Bus Station as the central bus hub of Southern Auckland) and eventually light rail from the Airport to Botany via Manukau.
This is the hierarchy of transport modes especially for a large Metropolitan Centre like Manukau:
Key Move Five recognises this hierarchy and sets about in realising it in the Framework Plan.
Let’s take a look at the breakdown of Key Move Five – Enhancing Community Connectivity:
What Panuku outline with connecting up Manukau within itself and wider Southern Auckland.
The context especially around the Great South Road that has history behind it (both light and dark).
The east west transit corridor is of crucial importance to the entire Southern Auckland area as the corridor would connect Botany, Manukau and Southern Auckland (via either Manukau or Puhinui Stations) to the airport. Such a corridor would allow efficient journeys to a major employment and travel destination without having to be stuck on State Highway 20B or the airport environs’ roads as we currently are.
Auckland Transport along with NZTA are going through the motions of route protection for the Airport to Manukau part of this east-west transit corridor. You can see the route options that cover both light rail or bus below:
Hopefully Option 1 is chosen as it is covers Puhinui Station to capture Southern Line passengers as well as Manukau rail and bus Stations that form the central hub for both Manukau and Southern Auckland. If density and demand ever allows using Option 4a and Option 4 (fr0m the Super Clinic to Ronwood Avenue) as a Manukau loop service would help move people quickly around the southern part of Manukau efficiently.
Bringing the Great South Road up from a car-sewer to a multi-modal but people friendly avenue would go a long way in connecting Manukau back to the historic urban spine (the Great South Road). Manukau Station Road would also be upgraded as well with Option Three taking my fancy as initial favourite:
Amersham is also up for an upgrade:
Whether it be to or from Manukau or within Manukau itself it is about enhancing those community connections that support the creation of a vibrant heart and wider surrounds.
How the different transit and cycle routes fit into the #ourmanukau equation.
‘Key Move Five – enhancing community connections;’ connections that connect Manukau to wider Southern Auckland as well as allowing better connections within Manukau. In the end it all comes down to budget determining the speed of the delivery. A major factor of that delivery will be the route of the Airport to Botany via Manukau transit corridor as it will influence how the Great South Road and Manukau Station Road upgrades are eventually handled.
But with those enhanced community connections and the vibrant heart Manukau City Centre realises its full potential as a City Centre (albeit a minor complementary City Centre next to the main City Centre of Auckland), a regional centre for Southern Auckland.
Next in the #TransformManukau series I post some observations from a recent Public Life Survey I did in Manukau.