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New look for Queen Street

New look for Queen Street

Funding for the research and design of a new look for Queen Street was approved by councillors at today’s Combined Committees meeting.

Spokesperson for the council’s Central Business District (CBD) project team, Councillor Mark Donnelly, says $250,000 for the Queen Street redesign was approved for consultation as part of the draft 2003/2004 annual plan.

The Queen Street upgrade is part of Auckland City’s strategy to develop the CBD as the country’s economic and cultural “capital”.

Queen Street has been the focus and hub of the region for the past 150 years and the council wishes it to remain so. The upgrade aims to make Queen Street more attractive, more user friendly and give it a unique Auckland flavour.

“Auckland’s CBD is crucial to the economic and cultural development of the city and New Zealand as a whole. Sadly it is currently operating below its potential and faces extreme competition from a number of other cities both nationally and internationally,” Councillor Donnelly says.

Auckland City is committed to developing the city’s centre to its full potential. A project team has been set up to establish a strategic direction for the CBD and develop and execute an action plan.

Work has already begun to understand how the CBD is working and identify the opportunities for development. Discussions are also underway with key organisations and businesses operating within the CBD on their views and what active role they and council can take in its development.

“It is crucial for the success of the CBD project that Aucklanders are actively involved and supportive of the council’s plans for the area,” says Councillor Donnelly.

The Combined Committees meeting also approved a recommendation to allocate $19 million for capital works in the central city. This includes funding for the Victoria Park carpark, development of the Quay Street area, footpath renewal, pedestrian signage, Karangahape Road upgrade, Aotea Centre and Square upgrade and the redesign of the Mayoral Drive and Wellesley Street intersections. It does not include budget for the Britomart Transport Centre and the Indoor Arena, which have already been approved.

Continued support was given to the Heart of the City and Karangahape Road mainstreet programmes and funding for the Arts Festival, City Ambassadors programme, facilitation of artwork in the Viaduct and the ongoing development of various safety initiatives.

The recommendation will be included in the public consultation process for the draft annual plan in April and May 2003. The public are being urged to make submissions on the recommendation. The council will consider all public feedback before the 2003/2004 annual plan is finalised.

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