Funding the transformation
It's widely recognised that the city centre plays a vital role in the economy of the Auckland region, which means its success is a priority for local and central government as well as for those of us here in the city centre.
Auckland Council currently has $327m budgeted for transforming the city centre's public spaces and transport infrastructure in its 10 year plan 2018 - 2028, with $188m of this being funded by the City Centre Targeted Rate.
This includes projects such as the Downtown programme which includes new bus interchanges at Britomart, and an upgrade of Quay Street, as well as Federal Street and part of the Victoria Street linear park. The map below shows which projects are likely to be delivered in the next ten years, though timing and delivery is subject to funding and further prioritisation through processes like the Long Term Plan and ACCAB recommendations.
Additional projects being delivered by AT and CRL take the total investment significantly north to around $4b over the same period.
Why is investing in the City Centre so important?
There's a high concentration of business and jobs here, so the city centre is a significant contributor to the economy.
Getting people to, from and around the city effectively can have a huge effect on productivity - so investing in public transport and walkable streets is an investment in the economy. A report showed a 1% increase in walkability could mean a $42m increase in GDP.
Investing now and aligning public realm improvements with major transport projects like the City Rail Link, the Wellesley Street bus boulevard and the Quay Street seawall upgrade means benefits can be maximised and impacts minimised - coordination means lower total project costs and less disruption to business and transport.
See a summary of the value of the city centre from Auckland Council here.