Keeping Wellington's Central City on the Rise

16 December 2011

The Central City Framework - the vision to further enhance the inner city's streets, buildings and landscapes - was unanimously approved at today's Wellington City Council meeting.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the framework will help make sure the central city remains both the economic 'engine-room' and cultural heart of the capital, and the region.

The framework will also help the CBD cope with an expected population increase of 55,000 across the city in the next three decades. Much of this increase is expected to be focused on the central city.

The framework sets out ideas to transform various areas of the CBD - ranging from developing the character and 'sense of place' of east Te Aro including Kent and Cambridge Terrace and Taranaki Street, the Memorial Precinct (Te Aro south to the National War Memorial), the Parliamentary precinct, and the development of green infrastructure.

It aims to make the city more 'permeable' for pedestrians with the opening up or enhancement of more laneways through city blocks, and the opening of more parks and the promotion of more commercial and residential development.

Other 'catalyst' projects include precinct planning for Victoria Street; a design guide for apartment buildings to encourage high-quality design and a central city vegetation plan.

"We want Wellington to remain the place that attracts talent - and improvements to the CBD will play an integral part," says Mayor Wade-Brown.

"This is part of our 'Towards 2040: Smart Capital' vision. The success of a central city - and indeed its prosperity - is underpinned by the way its people interact with buildings, streets or parks.

"Without a plan, we could miss opportunities to improve the urban experience for both residents and visitors," says Mayor Wade-Brown.

"Through partnerships with others, we can continue to 'set the stage' for the spontaneous meetings that happen in our walkable, compact capital."

Councillors agreed the Central City Framework is a cohesive long-term vision for a "small city with big ideas", and they were heartened by the extensive public input into the framework.

"It has been hugely informed by residents and professionals across the city, and we want to thank them for that. It seems the framework has excited many Wellingtonians, and we hope it will also inspire developers to look at the city differently," says Mayor Wade-Brown.

The framework outlines a variety of opportunities, short-term and long-term, that the Council believes will maintain its reputation as a dynamic, vibrant capital. Design concepts, spending and prioritisation will fall under the 10-year plan, which will go out for public consultation next year.

"Projections for the year 2040 predict we'll have 55,000 more people living in the city - with the CBD being the fastest-growing area, and almost 70 percent of jobs will be located in the city centre," says Mayor Wade-Brown.

"A measure of success will be initiating some of our 'catalyst' projects quickly to establish the momentum and enthusiasm needed for some of the longer term projects.

"One such project is the proposed laneway development of Opera House Lane, a potential prime destination for cafes and character retail shops."

For more information on Wellington Towards 2040: Smart Capital, visit:

Wellington2040 website