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Plans for Aotea Quarter closer to implementation

MEDIA RELEASE
7 April 2005

Plans for Aotea Quarter closer to implementation

Auckland City’s Urban Strategy and Governance Committee today adopted a plan to turn the Aotea Quarter into an arts and entertainment hub.

The Aotea Quarter will become the city’s civic core, cultural heart, arts and entertainment hub: a vibrant centre for people where senses are indulged, creativity expressed, activities and events enjoyed, and civic life participated in.

The development of the Aotea Quarter plan is part of Auckland’s CBD Into the future strategy, which focuses on revitalising and transforming the CBD into one of the world’s most vibrant and dynamic business and cultural centres. Other key projects in this strategy that went before the Urban Strategy and Governance Committee today were the Queen Street upgrade and the Victoria Quarter plan (formerly known as the Nelson Quarter).

Deputy Mayor Bruce Hucker, chairperson of the Urban Strategy and Governance Committee, says the adoption of the Aotea Quarter plan will be an important step in the CBD Into the future strategy.

“It is essential for a city’s success to have the right mix of activities. The arts, culture and civic activity that will be developed in the Aotea Quarter is an important element of that.

“A comprehensive arts and culture infrastructure is also important for attracting residents and workers into the area, and for that reason the Aotea Quarter will play an important role in the economic vitality of the CBD,” says Dr Hucker.

The Aotea Quarter plan went out for consultation in October 2004 and was redrafted to incorporate some of the feedback.

Consultation identified several priority areas to focus on. These were:
- the urban environment: improving the pedestrian amenity; ensuring that Aotea square is a focal point and reflects its status as the region’s premier civic square; developing great streetscapes; and addressing issues of safety.
- arts, culture and entertainment: ensuring the quarter has the necessary venues, facilities and spaces to support the arts (this would include, for example, performance venues, offices, rehearsal spaces); creating atmosphere and buzz through activities and events; and being clear about the position of this quarter in relation to other entertainment and/or creative quarters.
- transport: ensuring there is sufficient and affordable passenger transport; adequate parking to support events, entertainment and performances; and making sure vehicles can move easily around the quarter.
- economic activity: attracting quality retail, bars and cafes.

These priorities have now been included in the plan. The Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee also endorsed the plan, on Wednesday 6 April.

Ends

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