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Leading The Way In Urban Design With Auckland's First Shared Space Street

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The final concept design for the upgrade of Elliott Street in Auckland's CBD has been approved by two Auckland City Council committees, for what will become Auckland's first shared space street.

Shared space is at the forefront of international urban design and aims to combine rather than separate the functions of a street. Through specific design, management and maintenance, streets that incorporate shared space improve the environment for people, without needing to ban traffic.

The Elliott Street design sees paving across the full width of the street and the removal of kerbing to allow pedestrians to move more easily into and through the area. This also provides opportunities and space for outdoor dining and a variety of other street activities, such as events.

Where shared space has been introduced overseas it has been shown to improve pedestrian safety, calm traffic, attract more people, enhance business and retail activity, and encourage diverse outdoor activity.

Cr Greg Moyle, chairperson of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee says, "Auckland City Council is taking care of Auckland's future and working to transform the city centre into a world-class, vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centre." "We are proud to be leading the way in urban design in New Zealand. It is vital for our leading city to compete with other international cities by embracing best practice urban design initiatives like shared space and provide an environment which is more pedestrian friendly and more attractive," says Cr Ken Baguley, chairperson of the Transport Committee.

Public consultation on the draft design for the upgrade of Elliott Street and Darby Street ran in July with overall support for the design.

Feedback from consultation as well as specialist advisers resulted in a number of changes and refinements to the final design. These include:

o additional tactile indicators to assist the visually impaired

o installing six bollards in specific locations to protect canopies from delivery vehicles

o allowing general vehicles access to restricted loading bays (6am to 11am) Monday to Saturday, to support local businesses

o introducing loading zones on nearby Wellesley Street to support local businesses

o rearranging the seating layout to provide more choice for users.

These changes have been incorporated into the final concept design which is available for viewing at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/cbd

The upgrade will transform how we think about and use Elliott Street, making it more attractive for people to shop, relax, dine and spend time in. When complete, the upgrade will provide high quality paving, modern street furniture and new outdoor public seating, vegetation and lighting.

A number of other streets in the CBD are proposing to incorporate shared space. Watch Auckland City Council's shared space YouTube clip to get a taste of how it will look and feel in Auckland.

The Elliott Street upgrade project is part of a 10-year programme to transform CBD streets and open spaces. The cost of upgrading Elliott Street will be about $7.2 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2010 and be complete by June 2011.

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