Auckland City Council put its $25 million proposal for revamping Aotea Square out for consultation yesterday, as part of an overall $80 million upgrade prompted by the need to repair the roof of the underground Aotea carpark.
Consultation closes on Friday 1 August. Construction is intended to start in November.
Council urban design group manager Ludo Campbell-Reid said at a presentation on Wednesday revamping the square was a critical element of the city’s change so it can compete on the international stage.
“The project is a key element of Auckland’s CBD into the future strategy, a 10-year plan aimed at transforming Auckland’s central business district into a world-class centre, attracting a lively mix of arts, cultural & business activity.
“Auckland is competing globally for jobs, investment, for tourism. The competition is fierce, and when we look around the competing cities of the Pacific, they’re outperforming Auckland, attracting people away.
The economic reasons for this sort of change were amplified on Thursday in a council economic report, which I’ll cover in a separate story at the weekend.
For the square itself, though, the essential change is that the surface will be raised by about 1-1.5m, so people will enter the square from Queen St by walking up instead of down. There will be a variety of heights around the square, with bench-style seating, and the present fenced-off grassed area will be brought into play as the sunniest patch of Aotea.
That grassed area at the south of the square will have a nikau-lined pathway separating it from future-theatre land to the south (the Greys Avenue end), with steps/seating up from the lower Town Hall entrance.
The main part of the square will again be paved, but with trees in planter boxes (required because that section of the square is above the carpark) to soften it.
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Attribution: Council briefing, images, release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.