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Wea Ora Tūmatanui

Public life survey

About the public life survey

Gehl Architects from Copenhagen – the recognised international experts in public life – took stock of the city’s progress in its 2015 public life survey.

It identified a number of major achievements to date and major challenges still to be addressed.

Major achievements 

Major achievements included:

  • clarity of the single integrated vision and strategic planning now taking place
  • growth in public transport access
  • increase in diversity of people and activities in the city centre
  • extended network of pedestrian space
  • more diverse and connected waterfront
  • much higher levels of city life when compared to the benchmark 2010 survey.

The 2012 CCMP greatly strengthened the importance of investing in accessible public space to support more public life. These objectives now underpin the goals of many current projects in the city centre.

Major challenges 

Major challenges still to be addressed included:

  • the continued domination by private vehicles of the layout and function of most of the major streets
  • Quay, Customs, and Fanshawe streets are barriers between the city and waterfront
  • limited distribution of pedestrian activity
  • low numbers of children and older people visible in the city centre, which is covered in Outcome 3: Accessible and inclusive city centre.

What we are getting better at 

Auckland is now demonstrating a broader appreciation of the value and benefits of increased investment in public life in the city, via:

  • understanding the benefits of walking
  • initiatives to create a more equitable and inclusive city centre
  • place-making
  • creating shared spaces
  • understanding links between quality public spaces, health and well-being.

Incorporating Māori design principles, including Te Aranga, provide a way to instill Māori cultural identity and presence in the built landscape and bringing mana whenua to the centre of design in Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland.


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