Island Bay Village upgrades

We are upgrading the public space and amenity of the Island Bay shopping centre along The Parade.

A footpath in Island Bay showing a community notice board on the left and bus stop on the right. The area looks run down.
Potential area of upgrades

About the project

The Island Bay Village Upgrade is supported by the Suburban Centres Beautification of Wellington City Council’s Long-Term Plan 2021-2031. The aim is to improve access, increase safety, and support placemaking for the public space.

The project covers the main shopping area, and the Mersey Street intersection along The Parade.

The project is currently in the pre-design phase, and we expect to produce concept plans at the beginning of August 2022.

Aerial map of Island Bay showing the potential areas of the upgrade along The Parade, specifically the intersections with Mersey Street, Medway Street and Avon Street. And the walkway to Clyde Street.

Public engagement

As part of the engagement strategy, the council intends to further the relationship with the community and businesses. We aim to meet the objectives by seeking insights, concerns, and values of the community by encouraging participation and involvement through a co-design process in two main phases.

These phases include a wider community drop-in session, and three working group sessions. The working group is comprised of representatives from the Island Bay Residents’ Association, Community Groups and Business Owners.

9 April 2022 community drop-In session, with 250 comments- seeking feedback about the values, concerns and suggestions for improvements while concentrating and appreciating wider themes of Island Bay’s merits.

Community drop in findings 10% of comments highlight values, 25% of comments identify concerns, 30% suggest and identify general items, 35% of comments suggest improvements.
Community drop-in findings

Community drop-in findings (5MB PDF)

27 April 2022 first working group meeting: discussed the groups interest, purpose, project scope, collated and synthesised all the information gathered at the community drop-in, and prioritised the main objectives for the upgrades:

  • History and character of Island Bay, visible and relatable (reflected in town centre by seeing value in heritage and history); brought to life through murals and street art.
  • Celebrate unique identity of Island Bay (Diversity, History, Communities)
  • Make more inviting and a destination to pause improving the quality of public space with furniture and tidy amenities.
  • Lighting throughout the streets is seen to be insufficient and critical.
  • Upgrade buildings (enhance/painting)
  • Increase safety and access within the town centre. (Surfaces, crossings, hazards)
  • Assisting businesses (such as signage, promotion, events)
  • Mindful of future development- such as intensification and infrastructure.
  • Ensuring the town centre functions well.
Island Bay Village upgrade - design influence.

Design influence document (4MB PDF)

9 May 2022 second working group meeting: looked into the history of Island Bay and completed a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Report (CPTED) (3MB PDF). Furthered design drivers exploring the look and feel of the public space by focusing on 3 key subjects:

  • Identity, Character + History
  • Safety, Access + Inviting
  • Promoting Business + Providing for the Future

    These working groups confirmed opportunities as:

    • Add to the surrounding vegetation and amenity of the space.
    • Celebrate heritage, mana whenua, and place of community.
    • Work with or replace furniture.
    • Active frontages with public space with amenity and lighting.
    • Heritage areas relationship to public space.
    • Create new spots for gathering and recreation.
    • Updated lighting to create safer spaces
    • Ensure town centre provides for the future intensification of Island Bay.

    The working groups confirmed the key moves as:

    • Focusing on the visibility and interest of the Library and entry to community centre.
    • Increase public space at the Library, in front of the west shops, and enhance the existing space next to 138 The Parade.
    • Welcome entrance into the main shopping area
    • Consider the amenity, planting and visibility of Avon Street and Medway Street intersections
    • Safe access for pedestrians at driveways and build-outs onto The Parade, and the pedestrian access laneway.
    • Enhance streetscape build-outs with vegetation and signage/placemaking.

In the third working group meeting the Urban Design team will provide pre-design plans and sketches with more specific locations and upgrades.

2 June 2022: The third and final working group meeting covered the findings of the previous meeting, the public survey and presented pre-design plans and themes. 

Survey data summary (2.9MB PDF)

Findings of the second working group:

  • “Promoting Businesses and Providing for the Future” identified that spill-out areas and multi-use spaces will provide the most resolved outcome. 
  • “Safety, Accessibility and Inviting” looks to surface treatments and inviting spaces (seating, stopping and catered to families).
  • “History, Identity and Character” will best be addressed with Art/Murals and inviting spaces, where narrative is important. 
    • Other categories of display boards, lighting and play spaces can be integrated where appropriate. Most lighting concerns will be addressing the CPTED findings.
    • Display boards can to the character and amenity of Island Bay Village. 
    • Play spaces can be integrated in the stopping points or spill-out areas using brief inviting elements. 

Summary of working group findings (2.3MB PDF)

From these, the PSD team provided a draft amenity plan, surface treatment scheme, and art/signage/placemaking location map. Each plan covered potential quantities and locations for seating, lighting, vegetation, other furniture, murals, narrative opportunities, signage, and special surface treatment areas. 
The following captures the suggestions of the working group:

  • The idea of a Natural style for improvements is welcomed, although ‘modern village’ might be more fitting. Avoid contrast with Heritage;
  • Murals are of a strong interest- retain existing;
  • Surface treatments focus on light concrete (potentially seashell aggregate);
  • Information signage in a couple of specific areas;
  • Bespoke unique cycleracks;
  • Seating should be cut back. Few bespoke versions with the rest being standard;
  • Lighting important down the laneway and uplighting to trees encouraged;
  • Event space welcomed;
  • Any pavers should be limited and targeted to specific areas;
  • Look into a motif to replicate across the Village Centre and beyond;
  • Use historic/heritage references throughout Village Centre;
  • No further comment on planter beds or raised planters.

The PSD team expects to address these comments with the presentation of a working concept. The working group will provide any minor feedback prior to the public release of the plans. 

A Concept will be provided soon.

The Parade safety improvements

The upgrades are scoped to be easy and affordable- and expect to be delivered with the Parade Safety Improvements.

The design includes replacing the existing angle parking with parallel parking, and this deferral will provide some additional time for discussions about how to best make use of parking in and around the town centre.

The design and plan for parallel parking is not expected to change, but the local area-based parking plan being developed could for example include more time-restricted parking, or spaces designated for mobility parking permit holders.

The Parade Upgrade is a safety related project that stretches the entire length of the Parade. The Town Centre Upgrades will be focusing on the Public Space and the use of amenities and is funded through the Long-Term Plan. Although the projects are independent, they project are in coordination, with communications and delivery and expect to be achieved together.

More information

Urban Design: Public Space Design + Delivery Team
Brennan Baxley, Project Manager
Patrick Gregory, Project Support

For specific queries on the parking, traffic resolution and safety improvements on The Parade, contact the project email,

For more information on the upgrade please visit The Parade Transport projects webpage