A walkable CBD is good for the economy
14% of Aucklanders work in the city centre, an area which accounts for only 0.08% of the overall Auckland region. A new study from Auckland Council highlights the significant economic impact this density provides.
The study highlights the strong link between the city centre’s productivity and pedestrian connectivity. While there have been other studies looking at the productivity impact of more traditional forms of transport like cars and public transport, this is the first time walking has been considered as a conduit to productivity in a New Zealand context.
The study considers agglomeration economics. This means that where cities are dense and easy to get around, productivity tends to be higher. The study looked at the core business area within the city centre and concluded that walkability with Auckland’s CBD is likely to make a positive contribution to economic productivity.
What does this mean for business? Well for starters, there appears to be real value in having a pedestrian friendly and accessible CBD. Supporting an environment where people can work close to one another, get around easily and connect to each other makes good business sense. It also raises questions about where and how we prioritise spending in the CBD. Walking facilitates personal and business networking, and the exchange of knowledge and ideas crucial to productivity.
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