Viv Beck: Great city needs beating heart
Excerpt of Viv Beck's full Op-Ed "Great city needs beating heart", published in the New Zealand Herald's Project Auckland on Friday 5 March 2021. Click to read the full piece on the NZ Herald website.
Four questions have been raised with me consistently over the last year. Working from Home — will it kill the city centre? How will small businesses survive? How can you get there with all the road cones? What on earth is going on in Queen St?
When I wrote with some excitement about the city centre's transformation in last year's Project Aucklandpublication, I talked about what needed to happen to support the city as it transitions — urging public organisations to align their work and mitigate the impacts on business, their customers and suppliers. I noted then that "it is a difficult time for impacted businesses and they are reliant on loyal customers".
Little did we know that a few weeks later, all our city centre's customer sources would be turned off at once as the Covid-induced lockdown hit home. The consequences have been extraordinarily hard for some, and people are asking what this means for the future of cities.