Linear park could cut through Auckland CBD
A proposal to close one of Auckland’s main thoroughfares to traffic embodies ambitious plans for the city.
Auckland Council design champion Ludo Campbell-Reid said Victoria St will be turned into a ‘‘linear park’’, stretching from east to west across the CBD, if city planners have their way.
It is one of a string of projects aimed at transforming Auckland from a city of cars to a modern centre designed around the movements of people.
A much grander but largely hidden project, the long awaited City Rail Link, was putting Victoria Street’s upgrade on hold ‘‘much to my annoyance’’, Campbell-Reid said.
However, there was preparation work that could be done now, particularly underground, he said.
Stretching from Albert Park in the east to Victoria Park in the west, the long strip of garden will provide badly-needed green space in the downtown area.
About $16 billion will be spent on public and private projects in Auckland’s CBD over the next 10 years, including $2.4b on the CRL.
The CBD was undergoing a metamorphosis, Campbell-Reid said.
‘‘The way we move about our city will be totally turned upon its head - people will cycle, walk, come by ferry, share cars, get on trams.
‘‘In the old days transport engineers were the bane of my life, because their focus wasn’t on the people. Now it’s about urban design [leading] the vision.’’
One example was Federal St, which was once a dingy alley running down one side of the casino. It is now a lively outdoor dining area and shared pedestrian/ vehicle space.
The plan is to turn Victoria St into a linear park stretching east to west across the CBD.