State Of The City Quarterly Update | The Committee For Auckland
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s work-life balance, economic sustainability and student appeal have improved but safety, investment innovation and traffic performance still lag. These are some of the insights in the first Quarterly Update on Auckland’s State of the City report.
Committee for Auckland Director Mark Thomas says this update follows the release of the comprehensive State of the City report in August, the first international benchmarking report of its kind undertaken about Auckland. The update provides a snapshot of recently published indicators, highlights some of the action underway and identifies future opportunity areas.
“Auckland has achieved 5th place for work-life balance out of 25 global cities measured, praised for its relaxed vibe and friendliness. It has also reclaimed its spot among the top 30 most student-friendly cities in the world, ranking 29th out of 160 cities.”
“However, Auckland ranks only 124th in safety, marking a three-year decline and positioning it among the lowest-performing peer cities on safety and bottom within Australasia.”
“In the innovation area, Auckland's data centre performance falls within the bottom 5 in the APAC region, despite the growing importance of investment in technology infrastructure.”
“The city's traffic performance, measuring commute time, ride dissatisfaction, network inefficiencies, and CO2 emissions, worsened since 2022 with the city in the bottom group of cities Auckland compares with.“
Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Director of Investment and Industry Pam Ford says other noteworthy findings include Auckland making it into the global top 100 sporting cities, ranking 10th in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Recent data also indicates spending by international visitors in Auckland's City Centre has surpassed pre-COVID levels for the first time since the pandemic began, and Ponsonby has earned the 33rd spot in Time Out's list of the world's coolest neighbourhoods.”
Deloitte Future of Auckland Director Kate Sutton noted that Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland climbed to 9th place among 30 measuring progress toward a more sustainable economy.
“This reflected a commitment to improved construction and demolition waste recycling with the City Rail Link’s efforts achieving 98% diversion from landfill during its development phases highlighted.”
“However, the city’s lower ranking in overall socio-economic development is being impacted by household overcrowding, smaller numbers of electric charging stations and lower technology development.”
Mark Thomas says the update also highlighted some of the projects underway that will improve Auckland’s performance.
“A Digital Twin pilot project, led by a group of public and private organisations, will create a digital representation of the Auckland City Centre to improve decision-making, increase citizen engagement and enhance coordination between planners, agencies, and property owners.”
“Auckland University think-tank Koi Tū is building on the success of its citizens’ assembly decision-making project with Watercare by progressing further deliberative democracy approaches, trialling new online tools to support citizens decision making.”
“Tātaki Auckland Unlimited has celebrated completion of the first year of Tech Tāmaki Makaurau, a three-year strategy to develop Auckland’s tech industry. Its central city innovation hub, GridAKL, is boosting support for Auckland startups through an agreement with Australia’s largest startup community, Stone & Chalk. The partnership provides startup resources and includes access to expertise and investor connectivity.”
The update also highlights the Office of the Auditor-General’s recent findings about the improvements needed to get better information about how well public organisations in Auckland perform. It draws attention to an Australian study tour facilitated by Beca on innovative placemaking activities Auckland should consider.
Thomas said the first State of the City Quarterly update on Auckland indicated good progress was underway in areas where change is easier. However more work by a wider range of those interested in Auckland is needed to address the areas holding Auckland back – particularly the hard to move and systemic challenges.
The Quarterly Report can be viewed here: State of the City: Quarterly Update. The next update will be released in February 2024.