Some interesting what I would call introductory remarks on Auckland when visiting for five days in the middle of a soddingly wet winter as we are experiencing.

Auckland is a strangle heterogeneous mix of urban design and planning elements. Some good some well I wonder how we got here in the first place.

Hopefully Philip could make it back say in March when our March Madness is underway and the City is moving like a mega hive of activity.

Philip Barnes - Blog

So what did a five wet winter days in Auckland say to a UK planner/housebuilder about planning and urban design? In particular the similarities and contrasts with the UK? I was asked by the UK branch of the New Zealand Planning Institute to provide some thoughts so here goes.

The first thing that hits you is the dominance of Auckland’s maritime setting. You are never far from a view of the harbour and and its influence on the character, economy and history of the city. The urban pattern is essentially a grid with Quay Street running parallel with the shoreline and a series of streets running southwards up the hill towards Albert Park and the University.

The second impression, linked to the above, is the fantastic and ongoing regeneration of the obsolete older docks at the western end of the harbour. The scale, grain and quality of new architecture, including…

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  1. Many thanks Ben. Slightly updated blog as I felt it underplayed how wonderfully diverse and confident the city feels. You are right – very much introductory and we will be back to experience your superb city and country in better weather and more detail

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