The final concept design for the upgrade of Elliott Street in Auckland’s CBD has been approved by two Auckland City Council committees, for what will become Auckland’s first shared space street.
Shared space is at the forefront of international urban design and aims to combine rather than separate the functions of a street. Through specific design, management and maintenance, streets that incorporate shared space improve the environment for people, without needing to ban traffic.
Recently WLA reported on the announcement of the finalists for the Queens Wharf design competition. We have just found out that the competition has been halted and no winner will be awarded as the competition organisers (various government authorities) were not impressed with the stage 2 entries submitted.
Comments left on news sites and blogs have expressed differing views. Some stating that this is an embarrassment to hold a competition and not award a winner, while others see that it is good that the project was quashed as it was being rushed to be ready for the Rugby World Cup in 2011. There is a general consensus however, that the budget was far too low ($47-50milllion NZD) to create a design worthy of the Auckland waterfront whilst pleasing all interests.
Voxy.co.nz quotes North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams as saying
“……they want the redevelopment to deliver on all these expectations for a miserable $47 million, which is like expecting a Sydney Opera House for the price of a temporary prefab.”
Was the design process flawed from the start? What’s your view?