News | 19 October 2022
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New and improved Dixon Street open for business

The parklets are in, the plants are planted, and the boardwalk is down. Welcome to a better, brighter, safer Dixon Street.

View down Dixon Street.

Dixon Street’s urban design makeover is the latest outcome of the Pōneke Promise – a partnership programme designed to improve safety and a sense of vibrancy in the central city. What was once just a busy street for shopping and thoroughfare, is now an inviting space where you can stop, sit down, and soak up the buzzy inner-city vibe.  

The new design includes:  

  • Widened footpath along the northern side of Dixon Street with wooden decking. This connects Te Aro Park to the wider area and provides better sightlines to and from the park.  
  • Planters alongside to help slow down traffic, create clear boundaries between the street and pedestrian space, and improve the look and feel of the area.  
  • Parklets on either side of the street, providing opportunities for outdoor dining.  
  • Two additional speed cushions to slow traffic and improve pedestrian safety.  
Umbrellas on Dixon Street.

Improving public spaces is one of the four key outcomes of the Pōneke Promise and is informed by a methodology called Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, or CPTED for short.  

As Urban Regeneration and Design Manager Dr. Farzad Zamani explains, it’s about more than just removing carparks to make the area look nice.  
“There were some unique challenges in the area including the lack of visibility into the park past the parked cars, blind spots, narrow footpaths and lack of activation. Using CPTED principles, the new design addresses these issues by creating better sightlines to and from the park, slowing the traffic, and providing more pedestrian and outdoor dining space.”  

The outdoor dining parklets are at Eva Beva, Swimsuit Cafe, Old Quarter and Dixon Street Deli – perfect for brunch in the sun or after-work drinks as the days get longer.  

Locky Docks.

Thanks to the recent installation of some Locky Docks in one of the parklets – you can even park your bike on the street and know it’s going to be safe and secure.  

But urban design is just one piece of the puzzle. A mix of activities in the space is key to encouraging different groups to come and enjoy the area.  

The removal of the Te Aro Park toilets in the coming months will open up the space even more, allowing for a range of activations and small events put on by local community groups, residents and businesses to welcome people into the space and bring it to life over summer. 

People sitting at tables on Dixon Street,

As Dr. Zamani explains, the buzz of people in an area does a lot for the perception of safety.  

“Over time, these changes will start to influence who uses the park, and the way they use it. Having lots of eyes is always a good thing, because crime is less likely to happen in high visibility spaces, and that’s what bringing life back to the area will do.”