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Heading For A High

12 July 2000

HEADING FOR A HIGH

The busy downtown precinct of High Street and Durham Street East will look a million bucks as a result of a major Auckland City initiative to enhance the developing area.

The council’s parks and recreation committee today approved a $1.1million programme which will boost the image and quality of the prime retail and entertainment streets.

The High Street works will start in August and are expected to be completed by October while Durham Street East will follow as a separate project once new apartments are completed on the southern side of the lane.

Acting parks and recreation committee chair Cr Bill Christian says the character of both streets will be maintained through a careful programme of works which will preserve the predominantly pedestrian environment.

“We’ve consulted extensively on this project and people repeatedly told us that preserving the special features of the area is a top priority,” he said.

“High Street developed as a service lane and much of its character comes from the street’s narrow, intimate scale and its variety of shops.

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“Until the mid 1920’s, the street was seen as a ‘back door’ to Queen Street, later attracting interest as potential recreation space with the development of areas such as Freyberg Place. This project builds on that historic ambience while enhancing the modern activities and design that are now also part of the street’s character.”

Cr Christian added that High Street/Durham Street East was an emerging hub for the city with increasing residential and commercial development planned, including a new apartment building and the Chancery shopping area.

The council’s plans aim to create a safer and more attractive pedestrian environment, primarily through improvements to the quality of the footpath and the lighting.

Basalt/bluestone pavers will be used, pedestrian and feature lighting will be an integral part of the project and fresh scrutiny will be given to the use of signs to minimise their impact.

Trees and seats will be used sparingly so that the streets remain uncluttered.with the emphasis on Freyberg Place as a concentrated
space that can provide shade, seating and greenery for the precinct.

All work within the project will be coordinated and the council’s works will be undertaken in conjunction with Metrowater, Saturn/Telstra and Clear under an integrated contract and timeframe.

End

For further information, please contact
Cr Bill Christian. Phone 527 8648 or 025 814 721


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