Top of the page Skip to main content
Auckland Council Logo The Auckland City Centre Master Plan Logo
Ngā whakatara e whakarae ana ngā kainoho o te pokapū tāone

Challenges faced by city centre residents

Public spaces

There is a significant deficit in the variety and quality of public space in parts of the city centre.

City centre public spaces need to cater for residents' needs. They should be conveniently located near people's homes, particularly in the city centre neighbourhoods with the highest concentrations of residents.


Perceptions of safety in the city centre have fallen in recent years.

Good urban design can help to address safety concerns. Houses and apartments will need to be designed to enable residents to interact with their streets to improve passive surveillance and safety.

Housing affordability 

City centre residents spend on average 40 per cent of their household income on accommodation costs.

While other costs of city centre living (e.g. transport) can be lower, this level of housing unaffordability has an impact on students, key workers and those in low-paid jobs.

Certain initiatives are delivering new affordable housing in the city centre such as:

Quality of homes 

Quality design and construction are essential contributors to people’s quality of life – in dense urban areas these become especially important. This includes the levels of noise and vibration created by activities which can impact on amenity values and people’s health.

While many newly-built apartments and conversions are designed and built to high standards, others are of poor quality. The effects of poor quality accommodation can be compounded by overcrowding.

The Auckland Unitary Plan provides for flexibility of dwelling sizes while setting minimum sizes for studio and one-bedroom apartments. This will encourage development of well designed and spacious apartments.

Social infrastructure 

The CCMP 2012 identified a general deficit in social infrastructure. This includes the basic services and facilities that support quality of life and make city centre an appealing place to live.

Specific pressure is being placed on school capacity, community facilities, and the need for quality public spaces.

In the short term, better travel routes to existing schools are needed. However, it is anticipated that a new city centre primary school will be required within ten years.

Getting our children to school

City centre children attending state schools currently do so outside the city centre, mainly in Freemans Bay or Parnell.

A city centre school is likely to become necessary within the next decade.

Improvements need to be made for children's journeys to school and increasing walkability.

See Transformational Move 7: City to the villages for more information.


189 individuals were estimated to be experiencing chronic homelessness in the city centre according to research carried out by Life Wise and the Auckland City Mission in August 2016.

Although not a specific topic in previous city centre resident surveys, substantial commentary was captured over the presence of homeless people on the streets and people begging. This indicates that it is a big concern for many residents in the inner city and many feel that it is a growing issue.

Relevant agencies are responding – the Auckland City Missions HomeGround development in Hobson Street is due for completion in 2020. It will include 80 supportive housing units with onsite wrap-around health and support services to help with homeless people's everyday needs. It will also address many of the factors which contribute to homelessness. Additionally, HomeGround will include spaces for local community social needs.

Auckland Council is part of Kia Whai Whare Tatou Katoa: Regional cross-sectoral homelessness plan for Auckland.

Related information

More information about residential city centre neighbourhoods