Published 6 November 2005
A discussion paper on Auckland City’s new central business district quarters says there’s likely to be competition between them, that they won’t cosily get along together.
4 cbd quarters are at different stages of development â€“ Aotea, Britomart, Education & Victoria.
The paper on similarities & differences between cbd creative quarters was presented to the city council’s urban strategy & growth committee on 3 November for councillors to comment, but it was received and referred to the council’s cbd advisory board for its information with only a couple of comments.
Council strategic urban planner Judith Webster said all the quarters had creative components: “This raised questions about how they could work together rather than compete against each other. The issue of integrating social, economic, cultural & environmental elements, as well as the various parts of the cbd with the whole (be that in a spatial, functional, experiential sense), also proved to be a challenge.”
The paper on the quarters was released as the council also launched a report on support for creative industries in the city.
Cllr Faye Storer said the council needed to take care that, in developing quarters, the surrounding area wasn’t left behind: “We should be careful that we have a base plan of what our city should look like.”
She said that on an overseas trip to conferences she’d seen “many cities with big entranceways, and behind them inner-city blight. We must have a certain service level across the city and put attention into quarters, rather than put the effort into the quarters and leave the city services.”
Cllr Penny Sefuiva commented that care also needed to be taken, in developing quarters, that keeping affordable & mixed communities was a key. She said creating an elite area, as had been done on St Benedict’s St, off Symonds St, meant that as soon as an area was upgraded existing occupants could be pushed out.
The Aotea & Victoria Quarter plans were adopted in April and the next one being developed is for the Education Quarter (which on this website has long been labelled the University Precinct), while the Bluewater Consortium (now a consortium of one) is redeveloping Britomart.
When the council approved the Aotea Quarter plan, no mention was made there â€“ or at either of the 2 committees which endorsed & approved the plan beforehand â€“ of the role the Britomart redevelopment at the foot of the cbd would play in:
drawing arts groups away from Aotea to its proposed arts-oriented new complex
perhaps, as an alternative, drawing enough interest to the city to actually increase arts groups going to Aotea.
The comparisons in the paper show some differences between the 2, starting with vision: For Aotea, it’s “civic core, cultural heart, arts & entertainment hub”, while for Britomart it’s “the creative heart of the city”.
Under primary focus, Aotea’s is listed as “experience & atmosphere created through the performing arts, visual arts, events & activities (cultural capital), while for Britomart it’s “commercial & residential activity (economic & creative capital).
Events are a key component to each quarter’s vision, but the Aotea Quarter contains significant cultural infrastructure (the Art Gallery, Civic Theatre, Aotea Centre, Town Hal, Herald Theatre & City Library), while the paper says Britomart “will not replicate the major cultural infrastructure present within the Aotea Quarter (though it) may have some rehearsal/gallery spaces.”
The Victoria Quarter will have a focus on high-tech activity, particularly television, radio & screen production. The Education Quarter plan is being scoped now, but it will have a focus on high-tech & knowledge industries.
Full details are in the discussion paper on the council website.
3 November 2005: Council sets foundation for creative industries support
11 April 2005: Aotea Quarter plan approved
17 November 2004: Britomart zone change open to further submissions
2 July 2004: Aotea Quarter maps
1 July 2004: Aotea Quarter cultural precinct plan endorsed
23 April 2004: $350 million Britomart above-ground project gets go-ahead