A Vision for Auckland: Designing with future generations in mind

A Vision for Auckland: Designing with future generations in mind

Auckland’s city centre plays a critical role in the success of both Auckland and New Zealand. It is the main location for business, tourism, educational, cultural and civic activities and is home to 37,000 people. Like all city centres, ours performs multiple functions and evolves over time as people’s needs change. Since 2012, a visionary masterplan has shaped the evolution of Auckland’s city centre as it transforms and adapts to serve Aucklanders now and into the future. 

In March 2020 a refreshed City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) was adopted by Auckland Council’s Planning Committee. Looking to the next 20 years, the CCMP sets the strategic direction for the city centre and waterfront with a vision of a more liveable, inclusive, green and people-friendly place - one that is uniquely Tāmaki Makaurau

Cities are most successful when they reflect the needs of everyone. Traditional approaches to urban planning have tended to favour people in positions of power. The CCMP has sought to change this.

It’s time to hear from those Aucklanders who will inherit the city we’re building. Do they see the vision for Auckland in the refreshed CCMP? How do young Aucklanders feel about the current rate of transformation? Is the vision addressing climate change, transport, connectedness, liveability, affordability and inclusivity based on their experience of cities internationally and elsewhere within New Zealand?

Frith Walker

Head of Placemaking, Eke Panuku

Frith heads up the team of placemakers at Eke Panuku, a role she describes as the job of a lifetime. Frith began her placemaking journey in 2011 for Waterfront Auckland with the redevelopment of the waterfront, a 20 plus year regeneration project. Frith and her team now “sprinkle their magic” in many neighbourhoods throughout the city for Eke Panuku.As a placemaker she understands that the people, stories and needs of an area are crucial to create successful places. Eke Panuku has a vital role to play in making places where people feel a strong relationship with their communities and a commitment to make things better.Frith is one the NZ representatives for the global network Placemaking X and an advocate for the UN ratified New Urban Agenda. She’s an enthusiastic supporter of the difference a healthy public realm can make in terms of creating liveable cities for all.

George Weeks

Principal Urban Designer, Auckland Council

George Weeks is a Principal Urban Designer in the Auckland Council Urban Design Unit. He is responsible for the refreshed Auckland City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) which provides a design-led vision for New Zealand’s largest city. He has also contributed to Auckland Council’s prizewinning work to develop a business case for walking and has helped to shape Auckland Transport’s Roads and Streets Framework.

Between 2011 and 2016, he worked in the UK as an Urban Designer at Transport for London (TfL). Here he led the Vauxhall Nine Elms Cycling Strategy, developed the Valuing Urban Realm Toolkit (VURT) and contributed to the 2015 rewrite of TfL’s Streetscape Guidance. Prior to this, he was a Graduate Fellow in Sustainable Urbanism at the Prince of Wales’ Foundation for Building Community.

His work reflects a lifelong interest in the design of city streets and their impact on people's health and wellbeing. 

Emma McInnes

Urban Designer, Resilio Studio

Emma is the chair and co-founder of Women in Urbanism Aotearoa, and an Urban Designer at Resilio Studio.

Emma's advocacy life started in her early 20s, volunteering with the climate change solutions focused group, Generation Zero. Her highlights were campaigning for protected cycle lanes on Karangahape Road, winning the battle for Auckland to build the "Skypath" and being labeled as one of those "meddling kids" by several Auckland councilors.

Emma is passionate about bicycles and has for a long time campaigned to bring more protected cycle lanes to Aotearoa. Where protected cycle lanes don't exist, less women and children cycle than men. Transport choice is a feminist issue.  

Most recently, she started Women in Urbanism Aotearoa with a few colleagues. After working at a transport consultancy, she'd seen the way that the lack of diversity and representation across the urban industries (architecture, planning, urban design, transport planning, politics, property etc) had a very real impact on the lives of women, and the rest of the voiceless majority in our cities.

Cities have enormous potential, but only when they work for everyone. Emma and her colleagues decided to found WiU to bring a much needed alternative voice into the male-dominated space of city building. 

Chamanthie Sinhalage-Fonseka

Urban living has dominated most of Chamanthie's life. Along with inner-city Auckland, where she now lives, the vastly different city centres of Beijing, Wellington and Hamilton have shaped her perspectives on inner city living and urbanism over a lifetime. Having returned to Auckland after thirteen years away, she has discovered that the central city is a more liveable, modern, diverse and connected place than when she left.  Over the past decade, Chamanthie has been an advisor to the leadership of several major cities and later co-headed an urban communications consultancy, where she advised on transformative city projects. In 2018, she was invited to present to the UNESCO International Symposium on Cities and Communication on the topic of how modern cities can benefit from brokering social connectivity and creating social capital - a topic she feels passionate about, and sees as part of central Auckland's strength moving forward.

Councillor Shane Henderson

Councillor, Auckland Council

Councillor Shane Henderson is deputy chair of the Finance and Performance Committee and Waitakere ward Councillor.  He is also liaison councillor for the Youth Advisory Panel, and chair of the Living Wage Advisory Group.  He was first elected on the Henderson-Massey Local Board at the age of 26 and is now serving his third term in elected office.

He has a passion for local jobs, public transport and beautiful parks and playgrounds.  On Council, he has spearheaded suburban town centre job creation initiatives, walking and cycling safety and climate change work. 

Before politics, he was a community lawyer, giving free legal advice in West Auckland and the North Shore, mainly working in employment and human rights issues.  He also taught in prisons as part of a rehabilitation programme for long-term inmates.  He lives in Te Atatu South with his fiancée, two young children and adorable cat.

Kerrin Leoni

Board Member, Waitematā Local Board

Kerrin Leoni, of Ngāti Paoa, Ngāi Takoto and Ngāti Kuri descent is the former Deputy Chair of Waitemata Local Board and now serves as a Board member. Kerrin is passionate about housing, education and arts. Addressing families and urbanism as well as homelessness were other concerns that drove her to get involved in Local Government. 

The board recently introduced a Māori Outcomes portfolio which Ms Leoni leads, along with the board’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio.

“I believe providing Māori cultural advice and developing relationships with mana whenua are critical."

Kerrin has extensive international experience running her own Limited Company in the Social Services Management Sector in UK for 10 years, initially based in London. In 2015 she completed her second Masters in Economics and International Politics at Kings College London. She returned to New Zealand in late 2015 and has a home in Auckland City Centre with her twins.

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