Improving connections between universities, the city centre and city fringe
How we can make this happen
This move proposes to reallocate street space to strengthen the Learning Quarter as a destination for Aucklanders and international visitors.
New links will mean more cultural spill-over between the university and city, and a better-connected network of campus facilities, including:
- the health precinct in Grafton
- the Auckland Museum in the Domain
- the National Library in Parnell
- student accommodation in Grafton Gully.
Centralising the Learning Quarter
Though well-served by buses, the Learning Quarter is less well-served by rail and cycling infrastructure.
Major improvements to transport accessibility are achievable. The forthcoming Aotea CRL Station will be less than 700m from many university buildings.
Several interventions will link the station and Learning Quarter. Victoria Street linear park, upgrades to Wellesley Street and Wakefield Street, and the possible re-opening of the Albert Park Tunnels will improve the pedestrian journey.
Symonds Street transit street
Symonds Street is the beating heart of The Learning Quarter. The CCMP vision would transform it into a high-quality urban environment to support the functions and goals of the University of Auckland and AUT.
A Symonds Street transit street without general vehicles would run through the main city campus area. It would include better footways, safer cycleways and better public transport.
Though buses account for only 14 per cent of all vehicles on Symonds Street during the morning peak, they carry 81 per cent of all street users.
A transit street would improve journeys to the university, between campus buildings and to the rest of Auckland.
Improvements to major streets
Enabled by Access for Everyone (A4E), the main Learning Quarter streets will be transformed to serve university needs instead of prioritising private through-traffic.
Other main roads surrounding campus buildings and linking the Learning Quarter with the city and adjacent neighbourhoods include Wakefield Street, Wellesley Street, Anzac Avenue, and Grafton Road. They would be upgraded to favour walking, cycling and public transport.
Frequent, legible bus connections will travel from the Aotea Station entrance through the Learning Quarter, with new stops and lifts connecting Wellesley Street and Symonds Street. New protected cycleways along Wakefield Street and Symonds Street will further support multi-modal journeys.
Missing infrastructure limits cycling to city campuses. With Symonds Street at its heart, the CCMP envisages a new network of cycleways across the Learning Quarter, city centre, and adjacent city fringe neighbourhoods.
Improving urban amenity on local streets
The CCMP envisages a network of low-traffic local streets between campus buildings in the Learning Quarter, tailored to walking, gathering, and university activities.
This network will include pedestrian priority design on Princes Stree t- helping Albert Park feel like a natural extension to the university – and on St. Paul and Mount Hood Streets, to create new gathering spaces for AUT students and events.
These streets will also better facilitate local access and university functions like service, delivery, and street closures for special occasions.
Improving access for people on university business
As the universities consolidate in the city centre, many more trips will be made to the Learning Quarter by people on university business. This includes maintenance, servicing, deliveries and construction.
It also includes provision of access for those with mobility issues and other accessibility needs, as well as the specific requirements of VIP access.
A4E will allow streets to be managed holistically, prioritising access to the universities' sites for people on university business.
To the east, the Waipārūrū Boulevard will catalyse redevelopment across the Grafton Gully area.
This will continue the spread of city centre activity eastwards, and free up desirable space for firms near the Learning Quarter.
It will help bridge the gully that currently divides the Learning Quarter, Te Tōangaroa, the Carlaw Park Student Village, Parnell Rise, and the Parnell railway station.