Te whakapai ake i ngā tahuaroa tūmatanui
Improving public spaces

We are designing public spaces with safety in mind, so that you feel that they are vibrant, welcoming and well-maintained.

Man in high-vis vest cleaning along Courtenay Place

Community clean ups in the central city

Working in partnership, Council is coordinating a series of community clean ups in targeted locations in the central city, to make a visible improvement in the short term and bring pride to our shared environment. By staging these clean ups in key areas of our city ahead of significant periods of activity, we can ensure the public space is clean and well maintained as we head into these busy times.

These clean ups focus on a range of ways to freshen up a space – from cleaning and graffiti removal to empty shop activations and artwork.

The next schedule clean up is focused on Cuba St, Manners St and Ghuznee St on 20 November. Check out our social media for more information on getting involved or contact poneke.promise@wcc.govt.nz.

Read our news story: Courtenay Place scrubs up well after community clean-up – June 2023.

Crowd of volunteers gathered for a community clean up at Courtenay Place

Crime prevention through environmental design

Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) is a tool that makes communities safer through strategic neighbourhood planning. Through a set of safety principles, CPTED helps to deter criminal behaviour, reduces fear of crime and increases perceptions of safety.

We're applying the methodology to all public space improvements. Below are three examples of CPTED in the city.

Te Aro Park upgrades

We are engaging in a co-design process to develop a plan to upgrade Te Aro Park and surrounds.

Read more about the Dixon Street and Te Aro Park design improvements.

Dixon Street urban design improvements

These changes are designed to increase the safety and vibrancy of the area. We’ve opened the area up to pedestrians, brightened the space with outdoor dining and improved sightlines into Te Aro Park. Attracting more people to the area will bring the buzz back and reduce opportunities for anti-social behaviour.

Read our news story: New and improved Dixon Street open for business.

See photos of the Dixon Street improvements:

Removal of Te Aro Park toilets

The Te Aro Park toilets were removed in November 2022. Due to their position and design, the current toilets create an area that is concealed and secluded making the space susceptible to crime and anti-social behaviour.

A new public toilet facility will be built across the road in Inglewood Place. This new location has been chosen due to its high foot traffic and visibility to CCTV. The new facility will be designed in accordance with CPTED principles.

Read more about the Dixon Street and Te Aro Park design improvements.

Increased lighting on Courtenay Place and Opera House Lane

We’ve upgraded the lightbulbs in the streetlights on Courtenay Place to LED. These are much brighter which will mean the area is well lit and more inviting. The change was completed in November 2021. Tactical flood lighting has been installed down Opera House Lane, making the laneway much brighter at night-time.

Ongoing urban design audit

As part of our work to prevent sexual violence in Wellington, the Pōneke Promise is applying a sexual violence prevention lens on urban design changes in the central city to help identify things we need to be aware of when we design spaces to make them safer for all.

We’ve hosted the Wellington Alliance Against Sexual Violence (WAASV) and accessibility advisors on a daytime and night-time walkabout around Dixon St to Courtenay Place to gather feedback first-hand from the community on areas that look and feel unsafe.

More information

Explore the Pōneke Promise focus areas:

Contact us

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Email poneke.promise@wcc.govt.nz if you have questions about the Pōneke Promise.