Auckland's Darby Street Shared Space Draft

( A draft concept design for shared space in Darby Street in the CBD is available for public consultation until 5 April.

The shared space design follows a special consultative procedure and public hearing last year on the proposal to turn Darby Street into a pedestrian mall. The council listened to public feedback and as result, shared space is now being considered.

Located between Queen and Elliott streets, Darby Street is an increasingly popular destination, making it well placed for one of Auckland City Council’s shared space upgrades.

The proposed shared space design sees the removal of kerbing and introduction of paving across the full width of the street. Already confirmed in Elliott Street, shared space will make the area more pedestrian friendly and provide opportunities and space for outdoor dining and a variety of other street activities, whilst still maintaining vehicle access.

The upgrade also features new high quality paving, outdoor seating, vegetation and lighting to provide a more attractive, safe and sustainable urban environment.

Councillor Greg Moyle, chairperson of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee says, “Shared space provides more room for pedestrians and creates a more attractive environment while still maintaining access for vehicles.”

To find out more about the draft design and to provide feedback, visit Auckland’s CBD Into the Future or phone Auckland City Council to request a brochure. Alternatively, visit the information stand in Darby Street on Tuesday, 23 March from 10am to 1pm or Thursday, 25 March from noon to 3pm.

The cost of the Darby Street upgrade will be approximately $2.3 million and is funded by the CBD targeted rate, a special rate paid for by CBD residents and businesses. The project is part of a 10-year programme to transform a number of streets and open spaces in the CBD to create an urban centre that will attract a lively mix of business, residential and cultural activity.

Shared space

The most recognisable characteristic of shared space is the absence of conventional traffic signals, barriers, signs and road markings. This encourages motorists to slow down, engage with their surroundings and make eye contact with pedestrians resulting in a safer, higher quality and more usable street area. Within a shared space, pedestrians have the legal right of way, however they must be aware and have consideration for vehicles using the street. Where shared space has been introduced overseas it has been shown to improve pedestrian safety, calm traffic, attract more people, enhance business and retail activity, and encourage diverse outdoor activity. A number of streets in the CBD are proposing to incorporate shared space. Watch Auckland City Council’s shared space YouTube clip to get a taste of how it will look and feel in Auckland.

Auckland’s CBD into the future strategy

Auckland City Council is investing a total of $965 million to transform and revitalise Auckland’s CBD and the waterfront as part of a 10-year action plan that began in 2004. Part of this includes a streetscape and open space upgrade budget of $162.5 million, of which $81.5 million is from the CBD targeted rate.

Streetscapes and open places upgrade programme

The CBD streets and open spaces upgrade programme begun in 2004 to create a high quality urban environment. So far Queen Street, Quay Street, Lorne Street (stage 1), Karangahape Road, Swanson Street, Vulcan Lane, Lower Khartoum Place and St Patrick’s Square have been successfully upgraded. Aotea Square is currently being redeveloped, and further upgrades are planned for Elliott Street, Lorne Street (stage 2), six streets in the Fort Street area and Kitchener Street south. For more information on all these projects visit Auckland’s CBD Into the Future.

Urban design framework

In response to public demand, Auckland City Council embarked on a bold journey to transform the shape, form, function and feel of our city through a commitment to high-quality urban design. The citywide Urban Design Framework is the platform upon which Auckland City Council is building a well-designed city where people come first. For more information visit Urban Design.

Media Release 18 March 2010 from Auckland City Council.