Giving the (innovating) streets back to the people

The Innovating Streets for People programme continues to gather momentum, with a number of new pop-up, consultation by trial projects rolling out to suburbs in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Led by local boards, Kāinga Ora, Auckland Transport, Auckland Council, Tāmaki Regeneration and Panuku Development Auckland, the programme aims to make community streets safer and more liveable spaces – with an emphasis on a fast and easy transition.

There’s a mix of existing projects and new ones set to arrive all across in Auckland, in more than 30 locations – from Pukekohe to Helensville.

The trials include a range of new designs to enhance the street environment, from safety improvements outside schools, to reducing speed and congestion through residential neighbourhoods, play-based events, place-making and new cycleways.

Current Innovating Streets projects include:

Project Wave in Auckland’s Viaduct which is trialling a connection between the Nelson Street and Quay Street cycleways, along with other improvements such as extra loading zones, to support easy access and increased safety within the area.

  • Henderson Streets for People which features a new traffic flow plan, trial bus lanes, and safe shared paths for walking, cycling and scootering.
  • Auckland Council Planning Committee Chair Chris Darby says it’s important to look at new ways of engaging with communities.
  • St Mary McKillop Catholic School in Māngere now has a safer environment for school children while still providing pick-up and drop-off access. This includes new speed humps, flexible bollards to narrow key intersections and safer speeds.

“These projects are fundamentally about trying new ways to make public spaces more people-friendly. To achieve this, we’re asking people to co-design streetscapes and to provide feedback on those designs once a temporary version is installed. We aim to unlock urban areas and make better use of the space in order to create safer, greener and more accessible locations for everyone.”

Waka Kotahi Urban Mobility Manager Kathryn King says it’s important the trials are located in a wide variety of communities across Tāmaki Makaurau.

“The Innovating Streets programme is a new approach to creating safe, healthy and low carbon streets. By implementing the pilots in different locations, we are able to give as many people as possible the chance to experience and better imagine what their streets could be like as more liveable and people friendly places.”

The feedback from these communities will support councils in ensuring they’re getting the balance right, before committing to more enduring projects.”

Panuku Development Auckland’s Chief Operating Officer Ian Wheeler says the Innovating Streets for People projects are giving them a live opportunity to trial some of the key ideas from their urban regeneration plans, in their neighbourhoods.

“The unique thing about Innovating Streets is that instead of ‘consult then build’ which is permanent we ‘co-design, trial, get feedback and adjust’, which gives us genuine feedback from our communities on changes based on tangible experiences from the trial. This helps to inform our long-term visions in a very meaningful way,” says Wheeler.

The programme uses a consultation by trial approach, where the community and stakeholders can test the temporary designs in real-time, allowing for adaptations to be made to the designs based on community feedback and onsite observations. If the trial meets the project objectives, then it is possible the trial will be continued in the medium term. 

To watch a video about the programme click here.

The programme is 90 per cent funded by Waka Kotahi. For more on the individual projects, visit here