New study calls for one more link over harbour

By Amelia Wade

The Auckland Harbour Bridge crossing will simply not be enough by 2040, says a new book on the city. Photo / Supplied
The Auckland Harbour Bridge crossing will simply not be enough by 2040, says a new book on the city. Photo / Supplied

Auckland needs a third harbour crossing, door-to-door transit and improved health and education services to make it the world's most livable city by 2040, says a new study.

But the study - issued as a book, Auckland, Connected, out today - says transforming the city shouldn't be a task only for the city's political and business leaders but for all Aucklanders.

It warns that without real change Auckland will be a "pleasant place" in which to live, but with a two-speed, low-skill, low-waged economy that lags behind more prosperous Australian and Asian cities.

The study is an in-depth response to the Auckland Plan and was put together by AECOM Global Cities Institute, an international provider of professional technical and management support services.

The not-for-profit institute worked with the Auckland Council, the New Zealand Institute and the University of Auckland.

Among its recommendations, the book says by 2040 when the population is expected to be 2.4 million, Auckland needed to:

* Resolve Treaty of Waitangi issues to create a highly integrated multi-cultural society.

* Ensure high-quality, high-capacity data is the norm.

* Reverse the loss of skilled workers to Australia.

* Have a third harbour crossing completed.

* Make the rail network the backbone of an integrated public rapid transit system.

"Auckland is a great city. It's culturally diverse with a wonderful natural environment, but these attributes alone are not enough," said AECOM's head of the Global Cities Institute, Joe Brown.

By 2040, Auckland would need to have made the changes necessary in its pursuit to become the world's most liveable city, or it will have let the status quo prevail.

"The city cannot look at each of its urban problems in isolation. Transport for example, needs a designer's eye. The economy benefits from a guiding social mission. Buildings are just as important as the spaces between them. A beautiful waterfront needs an economic engine to be successful," said Mr Brown.

AECOM's New Zealand managing director, Dean Kimpton, said Auckland, Connected took the council's Auckland Plan, approved at the end of March, further and helped address which projects should be prioritised.

The book says Auckland also needs to make its rail network the backbone of an integrated public rapid transit system the provide buses to act as a feeder service to the rail network.

That would include complete door-to-door transit. As well, the ferry network need to be developed with fast connections around the Waitemata Harbour in the next 30 years.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown welcomed the book's plans because it helped back up the direction in which the city was going.

The Auckland Plan was focused on fixing the region's transport issues and building the economy, he said.

"AECOM points out the importance of focusing on these issues and reinforces our view that transport infrastructure such as the City Rail Link are essential if we are to unclog our roads, increase the speed and frequency of trains across the network and unlock the potential of Auckland."

Mr Brown said the report pointed out that Auckland's transport system could not be fixed simply by increasing rates or taxes.

"We need to look at alternate funding mechanisms like tolls and congestion charges if we want to get on with building a better city."

WHAT'S NEEDED

* A third harbour crossing.
* Door-to-door transit.
* Improved health and education services.
* Resolve Treaty of Waitangi issues to create a highly integrated multi-cultural society.
* Reverse the loss of skilled workers to Australia.

- NZ Herald

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