Auckland Council adopted the Auckland Plan 2050 yesterday, replacing the original plan adopted in 2012.
A reader asked me yesterday where this plan dealt with public spaces, and protecting & developing new ones.
It ought to be in the environment & cultural heritage section, starting at page 171 of the 362-page draft document, but the message there is small. In the fourth of the 7 paragraphs on green corridors, the network of public spaces & parks, and cultural heritage sites, the draft comment is one of hope & aspiration, not of practical intent: “As Auckland grows, additional pressure will be put on these spaces, and additional spaces will be needed.”
Exhorting Aucklanders to add open spaces amid the rush to lay a carpet of houses over the region is akin to the more directly obvious exhortation for residents to mow the public berms outside their homes: “You do it.”
When you look more closely at these messages, you will see an abdication of responsibility in places where, for example, council staff mowed those berms (not everywhere – in Rodney, it was taken for granted that residents did this). But the message needs to be clear that provision will be made in development plans for new areas of open space, and it’s not there.
Planning committee chair Chris Darby said in a release post-plan adoption yesterday: “The plan sets the direction for Auckland’s growth & development over the next 30 years, responding to the key opportunities & challenges faced by Auckland.
“The Auckland Plan 2050 focuses on the critical issues that we & our children will have to deal with over the next 30 years – the unprecedented pace of population growth, how housing & infrastructure needs are met, ensuring that our prosperity is shared among all Aucklanders, and dealing with the increasing pressures on our stunning environment, not least climate change.”
Cllr Darby said early engagement with communities on the new plan identified better housing, reinventing transport & a healthy natural environment as the fundamental issues for Auckland’s future.
Feedback in March led to the development of a new ‘quality of life’ focus area and changes in the timing & number of areas for development. Transport outcomes now reflect the 2018 update of the Auckland transport alignment project (ATAP), a partnership between central government agencies & the council.
Cllr Darby said that, using a new digital-first approach, the plan would be website-based and available by August.
What you see on the website today is a draft containing rewrites, demonstrating the extensive effort that has gone into the plan – despite the criticism of over-exhortation, less of feet on the ground.
Cllr Darby again: “The confirmation of the Auckland Plan 2050 & the 10-year budget 2018-28 (on Tuesday) is the culmination of 8 years of integrated planning for Auckland’s future. Auckland Council is the only regional authority to undertake planning on such a detailed & long-range scale.
“The work isn’t over. An implementation framework will follow later this year, along with a set of targets & priorities. This enables us to move into a massive ‘build-it’ decade.”
Planning committee agenda 5 June, Auckland Plan items:
9, Adoption of the Auckland Plan 2050
Auckland Plan 2050 text
Auckland Plan 2050 maps
Summary of feedback & response
Auckland Plan 2050 website improvements
Local board resolutions
10, Bringing the Hauraki Gulf Islands into the Auckland unitary plan
Planning committee resolution – place-based spatial planning programme
Options analysis – process for bringing the HGI into the AUP
Attribution: Council committee agenda, draft plan, release.