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Auckland City voices commitment for city’s CBD

Auckland City voices commitment for city’s CBD

Auckland City voiced its commitment to the future of Auckland’s central business district (CBD) with the endorsement of a draft plan for the area at today’s Strategy and Governance meeting.

Spokesperson for the council’s CBD project, Councillor Mark Donnelly, says the plan is a statement of Auckland City’s commitment to providing leadership and investment in the CBD.

“Our vision for the CBD is to grow and consolidate its international reputation as one of the world's most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres in the next 20 years.”

He says the council will achieve this vision by realising five key outcomes. These are: one of the world’s premier business locations a high quality urban environment the most popular destination for Aucklanders and tourists in the region a world class centre for education research and development a place that feels like the heart and expresses the soul of Auckland.

A number of strategies for realising these outcomes are also outlined in the strategy document. Next month the council will be looking at an action plan that will sit under these strategies.

The plan was developed following extensive research of the CBD that included discussions with key CBD users. Mr Donnelly says the plan reflects jointly identified issues and outlines actions the council can take to address these and support a successful CBD.

Once the plan has the approval of key stakeholders, it will go out for public consultation early next year.

Mr Donnelly says it is important for the success of this project that Aucklanders are actively involved and supportive of the council’s plans.

“The ongoing success of Auckland’s CBD is vital to the success of the city, region and New Zealand as a whole. The CBD is one of the city’s main areas of growth in both a business and residential sense. It plays a vital role in the city and region’s economy. It is the largest employment centre with 65,000 workers and home to over 8,000 businesses. It is also the centre for arts, culture and tourism, with the Art Gallery, Auckland Town Hall, Civic Theatre, Maritime Museum, Sky Centre, Aotea Centre and Central Library located within its borders.”

Heart of the City CEO, Alex Sweeney, says he is looking forward to a unique Auckland identity for the CBD. “It’s great to see this overdue initiative out of the blocks.”

A number of key projects aimed at realising Auckland City’s vision for the CBD are already underway. Last week (25 September 2003) the council accepted a tender from a design consultant to transform Queen, Quay and Lorne Street into world class city streets. The upgrades will improve pedestrian access to the waterfront, provide better linkages between the library, art gallery and Aotea Square and give Queen Street a badly needed facelift.

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