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Auckland Council Logo The Auckland City Centre Master Plan Logo
Te horatāone me ngā horatiriti

Cityscape and streetscapes

How people experience the built environment

People experience the city centre’s built form at different scales.

The tops of buildings shape the skyline, while middle sections influence the neighbourhoods and views through the city. The lowest sections of buildings affect the streetscapes and the quality of the pedestrian and open space environment.

The relationship of buildings to streets and open spaces influences the way people experience the city centre. A range of design and planning methods ensure that the streets, squares and parks are attractive, pleasant places for people to walk, sit and enjoy.

Auckland's skyline and cityscape

In Auckland, our tallest buildings are concentrated in the core of the city centre. From a distance, Auckland has a distinctive skyline with the Sky Tower at its centre, flanked by tall buildings rising up from Waihorotiu / Queen Street Valley and the waterfront.

The city centre's built form, harbour and maunga provide Auckland’s internationally recognisable identity. Prominent and often historic buildings act as landmarks and assist people with orientation within the city centre.

New buildings – particularly those that are prominent because of their location, design or height – need to enhance the cityscape at every scale. This requires careful design to enhance local character, distinctiveness and activity.

Tall buildings are highly visible across the city so architectural design needs to be of exceptional quality to respond to the wider cityscape context.

At the street level, the diversity of building form, design and function is evident. It is a unique expression of Auckland's evolution from a colonial port to an international city centre.

How we can achieve a quality compact city 

The philosophy that shapes the urban form of our city centre is the result of investigations into what makes Auckland unique and how other waterfront cities manage their urban form to create distinctive identities.

The city centre is the densest urban environment in Auckland. Space is at a premium, so it needs to be used efficiently to support social, cultural and economic growth.

Tall buildings and high-density development in the city centre achieve the most efficient use of land to support the objective of a quality compact city.

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