Auckland Council’s Planning Committee has unanimously voted on a plan to pedestrianise Queen Street.
The strategy, called Access for Everyone, calls for all non-essential vehicles to be kept out of the inner city and aims to develop the area into a vibrant public space. The city centre will become a place to go to, not a place to go through.
Mayor Phil Goff believes the strategy will revolutionise the way Aucklanders and visitors experience and do business in our city.
“Making Queen Street and adjoining streets a pedestrian and public transport zone underpins our desire to put people at the heart of our city centre and waterfront transformation. It is what a world-class city would do. As Mayor of Auckland, it is what I want to do.
“Access for Everyone is a bold step in the right direction. It is a creative urban design approach to complex challenges that will unlock the potential of one of New Zealand’s most iconic streets; it will transform Queen Street, High Street and others in the vicinity into a pedestrian haven with desirable destinations that people will enjoy and explore, allow businesses to prosper and provide a pathway to our beautiful waterfront.”
The strategy will also benefit the local environment and the health of those that live in and visit the city centre. Queen Street currently has one of the worst levels of vehicle pollution, even though there are 13 times as many pedestrians as cars.
The decision made by Auckland Council is in line with ATEED’s Destination AKL 2025 strategy, which aims to improve the visitor economy of Auckland. Goals such as improving walkability and cyclability in the city and on the waterfront, improving sustainability, and ensuring the visitor economy is integrated into infrastructure planning, will all be addressed by pedestrianising the inner city.
The council instructed officials behind the City Centre Masterplan 2040 – and the Access for Everyone strategy within that – to come up with a plan for trials to launch in 2019.
For more information on City Centre Masterplan 2040 and the outcome of yesterday’s meeting, please visit the report on Our Auckland.