Former Napier city councillor and academic Robin Gwynn believes Marine Parade has the potential to be a waterfront wonderland.
However, Mr Gwynn said it comes down to a matter of cost and what was realistic.
"In an ideal world where I could recreate, I'd like to see Marine Parade change so it wasn't one straight-lined road."
He said he would like to see it wind toward the sea where it could be truly developed.
"It could become a really wonderful area but it requires a rethink.
The odd things to me about Napier is that we've got the sea, we have got these magnificent views but where are the cafes that overlook them?"
He said we had the opportunity with the museum to have a cafe on its upper floors, but the cafes actually face away from the sea. "It's just curious."
One success has been the catering of activities towards children, according to Mr Gwynn.
"I'm a bit out of touch with what today's kids want in terms of skate worlds etc, but there are fashions in these things and always a demand."
Mr Gwynn said the city has done pretty well with the resources it has available.
He said the viewing platform is another example of this.
"I've been on it with my wife and we both really enjoyed it, I'm not sure its deserved the fuss its had, I'm pretty in favour of it."
One suggestion Mr Gwynn made to council was to develop the history of the city through plaques along the cycleway.
"That could be an added addition at a relatively cheap cost."
What everyone really wants is a sandy beach which would be incredibly expensive.
Mr Gwynn said people enjoy coming to Napier and they always find things to see and do.