The value of the city centre for business
There is ever-evolving, tangible evidence that Auckland’s city centre is at the heart of our economy and a place where businesses want to be. We generate around 19% of Auckland’s GDP and 7.1% of New Zealand’s. Businesses of all stripes continue to open here and there are ongoing, significant public and private developments.
The sheer number of businesses located here offers a unique benefit. Proximity or agglomeration means that businesses can literally bump into their clients and collaborators here. These face-to-face connections are also known as knowledge spillover and are made possible by a dense and compact city centre that is easily accessible. Collectively, this helps to drive business productivity.
Businesses are also choosing to locate here because it’s an increasingly attractive place to be. A Council-led programme that began well over a decade ago includes the development of shared spaces including Fort Street, Elliott Street, O’Connell Street. Public spaces such as St Patrick's Square, Wynyard Quarter and the recent Downtown development which includes Te Komititanga, and the Wai Horotiu Queen Street Project.
Investment in new public spaces and public transport infrastructure increases economic productivity. A report(1) showed that a 1% increase in walkable connections could increase the productivity of the city centre by $42 million a year – so investment in public spaces is good for business. Current programmes of work include the City Rail Link and Midtown – including Te Hā Noa - Victoria Street Linear Park will further support economic success.
As a business association wanting to ensure the broad economic success of the city centre, we’re focusing on maintaining its position as the place where businesses want to be located. We advocate for a well-functioning and accessible city and support ongoing public and private investment in the area. We also represent businesses on the investment of a City Centre Targeted Rate, which provides around $20 million a year for improving our public spaces and streets. Our sights are firmly set on a vibrant city centre where business can succeed.
1. ‘Business Case for Walking: Investigating the Economic Value of Walking in the Auckland City Centre’