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Council asked to budget for good urban design

MEDIA RELEASE
13 June 2005

Council asked to back good urban design with budget increase

Auckland City is being asked to back its commitment to early action on good urban design by supplementing a planned $1.4 million targeted rate for heritage and urban design with an additional $523,000.

The request to add the extra money to the 2005-2006 annual budget came from the Urban Strategy and Governance Committee after recommending that the council approve the action plan and key initiatives contained in the report of the Mayoral Task Force on Urban Design. The budget will be finalised by combined committees on 23-24 June.

Together, the cost for heritage activities and implementing the Task Force’s action plan is $2 million. Subject to approval of the $1.4 million targeted rate, this leaves a shortfall of $600,000. However, because of the time it will take to appointing the necessary staff, the shortfall will be $523,000.

“We plan to spend $250,000 for additional specialist staff to assess heritage items in the city and to pay for Heritage Week. The remainder will go toward urban design initiatives,” said committee chairperson and deputy mayor Dr Bruce Hucker.

“I think it fair to say we’ve now got a public mandate to put resources behind the heritage and urban design issues. The time for talking is over. It’s time for action.”

Of the $1.75 million required to fund a range of “quick wins” and more strategic activities for urban design in 2005-2006, key items include:

- Design-led plan for the western reclamation (tank farm): $200,000
- Quarter and neighbourhood planning city-wide: $580,000
- Develop scoring system to identify high quality developments: $50,000
- Strengthen work of Urban Design Panel: $60,000
- Contribute to university chair of urban design: $30,000
- Town Hall public forums on key urban design issues: $50,000
- Catalogue, display examples of good urban design (Mayoral awards): $50,000
- Design-led reviews of district plan: $100,000
- Provide additional staff to resource recommended actions: $700,000

Many projects will be ongoing.

“Much of the funding is ear-marked for additional specialist staff to get the job done,” said Dr Hucker. “If the city and the community are serious about making a difference, we have to commit the resources to be successful.”

Ends


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