OurAuckland puts the spotlight on "the city centre of the future"
Over the month of July, the OurAuckland publication is putting the spotlight on the way Auckland city is changing and the plans in place to build the "Auckland of the future".
As part of this conversation, they had a chat with our Chief Executive Viv Beck about her thoughts on the transforming city centre - how it's evolving and why we should be excited about it.
This article was originally published in OurAuckland on 1 July 2019.
Boom times ahead for changing city centre
With 77,000-plus people already living in the city centre and a further 30,000 expected over the next decade*, businesses are heading for boom years.
It’s all music to the ears of Viv Beck, the chief executive of Heart of the City, the business association responsible for supporting a successful city centre economy.
“The city centre has changed from a place people come to work and shop to one where people are increasingly spending their life and leisure time as well,” she says.
A further boost to the economy will follow the 2024 opening of the City Rail Link, doubling the number of people within a 30-minute commute to the city centre, making it easier to get to work and attracting more people to the city as a destination for shopping, dining and entertainment, she said.
With billions of dollars of developments happening in the city centre, Viv is excited to see new hotels apartments, shops, and public spaces shaping the centre’s future.
“It’s changing the way people are experiencing the city and demonstrates investor confidence.
“We’re also pleased to see a strong focus now on great design, ensuring that higher rise buildings complement their surroundings and that people can enjoy living and working in them.”
What would she like to see improved in future?
“I’d like to see some of the big ideas that have support happen faster, for example ideas for the waterfront. There’s a flurry of discussion – and then the ideas sit and gather dust.”
Where does she look for inspiration? “What’s topical right now is making our city centre more pedestrian friendly. Many other cities are making these moves – Copenhagen, Melbourne, London, New York, and Paris included.
“If we tread thoughtfully through this transition, making the city more appealing for a rapidly growing population will produce many benefits.”
*These are figures used/written by OurAuckland. The figures Heart of the City uses show that there are currently 56,000 people living in the city centre, a number expected to double in the next decade.