$1 million for Innovating Streets

29 September 2020

Wellington City Council has secured $1 million from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to design four Innovating Streets ‘pilots’ with the community.

Around 70 Innovating Streets pilots throughout the country will be funded through Waka Kotahi’s $24 million pilot fund that gives communities and councils the opportunity to work in partnership to pilot changes to streets and neighbourhoods that make them safer and create more space for people.

The engagement process will see members of the community co-design the trials and jointly assess the extent to which they achieved their outcomes after people have experienced the trial in real-life. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will provide 90 percent of the funding and the Council 10 percent.

The funded Innovating Streets pilots in Wellington city are:

• Placemaking Parklets in Newtown (along Riddiford Street between Mein and Rhodes streets) and Te Aro (between Taranaki, Cuba, Ghuznee and Abel Smith streets). The purpose of these parklets is to trial incorporating more spaces for people in the city’s wider transport corridor and Te Aro, which is one of the inner city’s fastest growing residential neighbourhoods. Estimated project cost: $495,420.

• Cycle route in Wilson Street, Newtown, to trial a safer connection for people cycling between Constable Street and Riddiford Street. Estimated project cost: $59,800.

• Enhancement of the Miramar Peninsula on Massey Road, from Shelly Bay to Scorching Bay. The goal is to connect people to the coast. Estimated project cost: $250,000.

• A safe cycling facility for people riding up Brooklyn Road from Webb Street to Ohiro Road. Estimated project cost: $316,250.

Wellington’s Deputy Mayor, Sarah Free, says the Council will pilot these changes to these spaces in partnership with the community. “It’s exciting to have won funding for these projects, which are all testing ways we can improve safety and liveability faster and at a lower cost. Safe and appealing streets are an important feature for modern and vibrant cities.

“Each project is very different and will require a different approach. We are looking forward to seeing the ideas from the community about how we can make our streets and spaces even better.”

Councillor Jenny Condie, Associate Portfolio Leader for Transport, says the Council will start co-design processes with the community to determine what the pilots will look like and how success will be measured.

“This is a new way of working and engaging for the Council and a good test for how agile we can be.

“We're excited to see how a collaboration with Iwi, businesses, residents, schools, and all people that use these spaces will lead to inspiring changes on our streets,” says Cr Condie.

Waka Kotahi Urban Mobility Programme Manager Kathryn King says the Innovating Streets pilot fund supports quick, low-cost interim improvements that trial more people friendly spaces in our neighbourhoods.

“By using this approach to test what works for communities we can create attractive, vibrant places that make space for people and help to support local businesses. We’re pleased to support this project through the Innovating Streets pilot fund.”

Wellington design studio Isthmus is leading the co-design process that will see the community actively participating in design decisions from the very early stages of the four projects.

Work with the community on the Placemaking Parklets and Massey Road will start soon. The other two pilots would be developed in 2021.

Anyone interested in being part of the Innovating Streets projects can email transport@wcc.govt.nz or phone 499 4444.