Avondale Open Streets Activation project Avondale Open Streets Activation project

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The Avondale Open Streets Activation project will deliver a series of events in part of the Avondale town centre, which will be made temporarily car-free. 'Open Streets’ is a global initiative where streets are transformed into public zones where people can walk, cycle, socialise and celebrate - transforming ideas around what community engagement is possible in urban areas.

The purpose of Open Streets is to open public spaces to other forms of transport beyond motorised vehicles. This demonstrates a commitment to creating a greater balance in transport options and the importance of community in the development of Auckland’s transport infrastructure.

The project was proposed by the Whau Local Board and funded through the new Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau - The Vibrant Streets Programme. Read more about the Local Board’s response to grant application funding.

Avondale Open Streets is supported by the community, including Avondale Mainstreet, I love Avondale, Whau the People, Bike Avondale, and The Whau Local Board.

A blue car is a blur as it speeds around the central round about in Avondale town centre.

The plan for ‘Open Streets’ in Avondale 

The Avondale Open Streets Activation project would involve making part(s) of the Avondale town centre car-free for a few hours through temporary road closures. This would allow us to encourage mode shift through fun and play by temporarily opening the street to people to walk, ride their bicycle, scoot or roller-skate. 

Avondale Open Streets Activation will be delivered through a co-design model that relies on exploring, designing and delivering the series of events with key groups and communities within Avondale. It is expected that an Avondale Open Streets programme with a reoccurring schedule will create a community routine and familiarity of streets being closed to vehicle traffic and open to people.  

The programming will be co-designed and co-delivered with community stakeholders who will be able to shape the events by:  

  • crafting the vision for Open Streets in Avondale
  • providing input on the preferred timing and programming of events
  • identifying any existing local events to which an open streets element can add value  
  • generating interest and involvement in the project.

The events will allow us to test and trial ways to make open streets event effective and achievable for other communities to try. We will document the trial and the processes and make this information available for other communities to use in the future. 

The benefits of Open Streets in Avondale  

Open streets are streets that are temporarily closed to vehicle traffic and opened up for use by pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorized users. The benefits of open streets can be many:

  1. Enabling full use of the road reserve: By temporarily restricting access on Great North Road to people movement, the road reserve can become a more attractive and functional urban environments, which can help to beautify the community and encourage social interaction.
  2. Encouraging physical activity: Open streets create a safe space for people to walk, bike, and participate in physical activities, which can help to promote healthier lifestyles.
  3. Enhancing social connections: By creating a public space for people to gather and interact with one another, open streets can help to foster a sense of community and social connectedness.
  4. Supporting local businesses: Open streets can provide a boost to local businesses by attracting more foot traffic and providing a platform for vendors to sell their wares.
  5. Reducing traffic congestion: By encouraging non-motorized transportation, open streets can help to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.
  6. Promoting sustainable transportation: Open streets can promote the use of sustainable transportation options such as walking, biking, and public transportation, which can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.

Overall, open streets can provide a variety of benefits for communities, ranging from health and social benefits to economic and environmental benefits. The project is working with stakeholders to carefully consider the needs and priorities of the community when making decisions about how to use the road reserve, to ensure that the benefits are maximized and that the impact on the community is positive.

Our work so far 

The project team has been working on setting up the project framework to ensure that the implementation of the project aligns with both the community’s intent and the goals of the Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau programme. The framework has also centred around growing a working relationship between AT/Council Family and subject matter experts in the Avondale Community, developing a stakeholder/community engagement plan, creating a high-level project scope and budget for resourcing, and monitoring/evaluation tools. 

Community stakeholders were invited to attend one of information sharing sessions held on Wednesday, 16 November 2022 in the Avondale Community Centre. The sessions were held to provide community members with information about the Open Streets project, and to hear their initial thoughts about what Open Streets in Avondale could look like. 

Download the Open Streets project presentation (PDF 3.46MB).

Community workshops were held with community representatives to plan for Open Street programming in early 2023. The community worked together to select events they would like to see produced as a part of the programme.

Four events were selected, and are now in planning, with different community groups leading each event.

An Open Streets Avondale programme logo, was designed by local artist, Janet Lilo, to emulate the appearance of a street sign.

Open Streets Avondale logo

For continuity and event recognition, this logo will be the brand device consistently used across all events; however a modified version may be used that is more reflective of the individual events.

Event Area

The event area is on Great North Road, in the Avondale town centre, as pictured in this map. The road will be closed to traffic during the events. The section of the road closed may vary slightly from event to event.  Residents who live in this section will be contacted by the event team to advise them about access during event times.

map showing Great North Road between Rosebank Road and Saint Jude Street
Click on map to enlarge.

Past Events

 Christmas Celebration

    • Date: 25 November 2023
    • Event Time: 11am to 2pm
    • Proposed Event Location: Along Great North Road
    • Event Organiser: Avondale Collaboration Network

Woven Festival

Whau Arts Festival 2023 - From Gridlock to Art-Block!

Avondale Night Ride & Street Festival - From traffic lights to starry nights

  • Date: Saturday 1 July 2023
  • Event Time: 4 to 7pm
  • Proposed Event Location: Along Great North Road between Crayford St West and Jude St
  • Event Organiser: Bike Avondale
  • Event Link: www.avondale.net.nz/nightride

Project Outcome

A monitoring and evaluation plan has been created for the project to assess the progress, effectiveness, and impact of this project. The project team will work towards development of a baseline for the monitoring and evaluation, identifying lessons learned and opportunities that other communities can use in the future.

Project Support

An independent role has been developed – with the title Open Streets Champion. role that involves intensive notification efforts and canvassing in the neighbourhood of Avondale along the upcoming Open Streets event routes. The Open Streets Champion is responsible for door-to-door notification along upcoming routes, alerting residents and businesses of the upcoming event, and collecting contact information and other data for every stakeholder on the route. The Open Streets Champion may also act as an ambassador for the Avondale Open Streets series at various community events. The OSA Champion is also responsible for:

  • Documenting and advising on objectives, vision and long-term strategic intentions for ‘open streets’ Avondale.
  • Maintaining a Programme Identity for OSA
  • Managing business and stakeholder engagement

Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau - The Vibrant Streets Programme 

Avondale Open Streets Project is part of Auckland Council’s Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau - The Vibrant Streets Programme.

Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau is aligned to Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan. The plan aims to reduce transport emissions by improving access to active modes (such as cycling or walking) and infrastructure. 

In the 2021 to 2031 10-year Budget, Auckland Council allocated $152 million of new spending on climate change initiatives over 10 years. 

Ngā Tiriti Ngangahau is a $3 million, 3 year programme covering 7 projects across Auckland. We are delivering this programme as part of this climate action package. 

For more information email ngatiritingangahau-thevibrantstreets@at.govt.nz