Auckland in pictures: designing spaces, integrating people

Taking inspiration and learning points from design-led cities such as Melbourne and New York, Auckland saw the potential catalytic role of good urban design in spurring creativity in its businesses, government and people while creating a more liveable and vibrant environment. Design was thus instituted at the core of Auckland’s urban revitalisation strategy, shaping policies and redevelopment projects. Here's a visual walk-through of some of the city’s urban transformation led by the city’s Design Champion Ludo Campbell-Reid.


01: Vitality in Auckland as one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities
Auckland is one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities with the 4th most foreign-born population based on the 2015 World Migration Report from the International Organisation for Migration.

Auckland Plan

02: The City Centre Masterplan and Waterfront Plan (2012)
The City Centre Masterplan paints a bold 20-year journey of urban transformation for the city centre, while the Waterfront Plan unlocks the waterfront for Aucklanders and visitors alike.

People relaxing in Auckland's public spaces

03: Place Activation
Urban acupuncture on Queen Elizabeth Square during the Auckland Anniversary Weekend, demonstration of place activation to improve place experience, enjoyment and interaction between the citizens of Auckland’s city centre and the public realm.

Auckland Art Gallery

04: Design-led Approach
The redeveloped Auckland Art Gallery (Toi o Tāmaki) is an example of how the city uses design as an approach to transform the city, and the gallery has received multiple national and global awards including the 2013 World Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival.

Auckland Light Path

05: Auckland Lightpath
The Auckland Lightpath (Te Ara I Whiti) transformed a disused former motorway off-ramp into a new “hot pink” soaring cycling super-highway. In just four months following its opening in December 2015, the Lightpath became the second most popular Auckland cycle route with 100,000 trips recorded.

Auckland's public transportation

06: One Integrated Public Transport Network
Auckland’s transformed itself from a car-based city to one that places strong emphasis on public transport through various investments in rail and buses and saw an increase in public transport patronage from 50 million trips per annum in 2005 to over 80 million trips per annum in 2015.

Te Oro Arts and Music Centre

07: Te Oro Arts and Music Centre
Community projects like the Te Oro Arts and Music Centre, Toia Otahuhu Recreation Project and Mangere Arts Centre are examples of the city’s commitment to greater multi-culturalism. This has significantly contributed to Māori wellbeing and lifted the social cohesion of the city.

Wynyard Quarter

08: The Revitalised Wynyard Quarter
Auckland is recognised for improving its urban environment drastically through significant design-led initiatives. Specific examples include the redevelopment of Queens Wharf and Wynyard Quarters at the waterfront, and the refurbishment of the Auckland Art Gallery, Britomart, and Shared Spaces at the city centre.

Children in Auckland

09: Putting Children and Young People First
Auckland aims to ensure all of the city’s children and young people have equitable opportunity to participate and be heard, through various measures such as youth-led development approaches, and engaging youth groups in place-making exercises.

Elliott Street before

Elliott Street after

10: Before and After
Snapshots of Auckland’s urban acupuncture projects that have been delivered in the last 10 years have transformed many of the city’s urban spaces into more humane and liveable environments, such as Elliott Street pictured here.

This article was first published in September 2016. All photos are used with permission from Ludo Campbell-Reid and the Auckland Council. Captions are partially adapted from the publication “A Design-led City Story” published by the Auckland Council.