Call for a New York Look To Wellington


The full redesign of Wellington’s lower Cuba Street is now impossible to implement before the Rugby World Cup, according to Wellington’s mayor who says this is because of a delay in legal issues.

The deal for allowing buses to be rerouted through Manners Mall to improve public transport was that there would be better public space in lower Cuba Street.

Today, Cr Celia Wade-Brown urges council staff to investigate temporary improvements so shared space can be initiated as soon as the bus route moves.

“We made a bargain that the loss of public space in Manners Mall would be compensated for nearby. I believe that the shared street concept can be trialled before the Rugby World Cup.”

What they did in New York

She says that when New York explored making parts of Manhattan more pedestrian-friendly, they trialled it with moveable items on a minimal budget.

They unpacked seats, pots with trees and people flocked to the revamped spaces, including Times Square and Broadway.

She points us to this New York website to show how it was done.

She said that giant flowerpots with shrubs, heavy macrocarpa benches, painted surfaces and some artwork could make a big difference”, she said adding that they’ll need to  choose sturdy ones for Wellington’s wind!

After use in lower Cuba Street, where design and parking can be modified until walkers and retailers are both happy, the moveable items could be used in other areas of the city while more permanent improvements are made to lower Cuba Street.




  1. Luke says:

    This would be a great idea for queen st, or other areas of auckland possibly for the duration of the world cup. Need something like this to build public support for longer term pedestrianization in Auckland CBD.

  2. Jon C says:

    @Luke excellent thought. I fear we are stuck with those palms some of which never look well.

  3. Jeremy Harris says:

    They did this in San Fran too, I cant remember the name of the intersection… The video is on Streetfilms…


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