Nice Work, Newmarket


When I first stumbled upon a revamped Osborne St one night recently when coming out the back of Newmarket’s Rialto cinema complex, I thought I had been transported into a sophisticated European city.

Sadly, it wasn’t Paris but it was beautiful.

Newmarket's revamped Osborne St

The Auckland City’s $1.67m upgrade of the area, opened by Auckland Mayor John Banks yesterday afternoon, is a magnificent example of how the shared space idea can work so well for everyone including pedestrians, traffic and local business.

The wider footpaths and new traffic management slowing traffic already makes it one of my favourite parts of Auckland and gives us hope for how the city can be transformed mixing the old and new, and keeping pedestrians and traffic happy.

Newmarket Business CEO and Mayor Cameron Brewer sums it up well when it calls it “a’s truly a boutique back-lane with some great business on it.”

“All the improvements including the wider Bluestone footpaths really show off the likes of the old Hayes building and the former Kent’s Bakery.  We’re going to add some fabulous public artwork to Osborne Street in the coming months.”

The closest feeling I get to this in the city itself is Chancery Lane and one has hope that neighbouring Fort and Lorne St’s shared space upgrades as part of the Auckland City shared space scheme will create a similar environment and inspirational feeling.

Banksie makes friends with future voters in Osborne St

This upgrade is something to celebrate. So should anyone be surprised that the Royal NZ Herald today ignored the event as it did the sight of grass after 2 years in the Newmarket town square, called Lumsden Green, on the corner of Khyber Pass and Broadway.  Lumsden is named after the last officially elected Mayor of Newmarket.

Today at lunchtime, on an unusually spring-type autumn day, people were already gathered enjoying the new look square.

It too was opened by Mayor Banks yesterday.

Newmarket's Lumsden Green has been re-opened

The Lumsden Green re-opening marked the end of a two-year Auckland City Council $10 million storm-water upgrade and redevelopment project of the area to mitigate flooding and create an urban oasis in central Newmarket.

Nice work Newmarket and Auckland City.

Some of us noticed and applauded even if the media chose to ignore.




  1. Jeremy Harris says:

    I stumbled across both on Saturday when I went ot the movies in Newmarket… The lane is awesome and as a transport advocate it struck imeaditely about how good the lane was for walking and cycling and therefore business… I hope the shared streets in the city are as good…

  2. rtc says:

    Hi Jon, thanks for the pictures - this isn’t a shared space it should be noted. This is ‘merely’ an upgrade with narrower roads, the removal of onstreet parking and wider footpaths. A shared space would not, for instance, have the raised kerbs and yellow dotted lines everywhere. These upgrades have been in the planning for a while, and predate Ludo’s push at the council for Shared Spaces.

  3. rtc says:

    There are some nice before and afters of Osborne street and Lumsden Greens in this thread on Skyscrapercity

  4. Jon C says:

    @rtc Thats right, not by the shared space definition but the point I was making is how well pedestrians and traffic can share the space well thanks to the footpath and roadway changes. At night when there are lots of people around going to bars etc its very pedestrian friendly as cars come through

  5. rtc says:

    Just being pedantic ;-) My only criticism is why onstreet parking needed to be kept in places considering several very large parking buildings exist in this block.

  6. ingolfson says:

    I agree fully - I took a number of photos documenting the works in recent months, and the more I saw the more I liked it. One of the few things I would have done differently is add more trees to the southern part.

    I especially like the raised crossings, and the high quality feel of the street. They went one up from Teed Street, which was already a good step, but still could feel a bit cheap.

    Lumsden Green was also looking very nice - will they put the cannon back, though?

  7. rtc says:

    I think Lumsden is completely done so the cannon has either been ‘retired’ or will be used somewhere else in Auckland.

  8. DanC says:

    Dam that cannon was a great talking point / meeting spot.

  9. Joshua says:

    Although not a shared space, I have noticed It’s been getting used as one which is great!

  10. ingolfson says:

    What do you mean, Joshua? [Edit: Oh, I see - you weren't talking about Lumsden Green anymore...]

  11. Ian says:

    The last time I was in Newmarket was for the station open day and was surprised at how average the place was, excluding the station, especially as it touts itself as a premiere shopping centre. I worked in Newmarket back in the 80′s and it seemed the place hadn’t changed much at all. However this tarted up lane looks a little better and hopefully is the start of a wider push to smarten up the whole area.

  12. Joshua says:

    Ian - Newmarket has developed alot actually, and has become the city’s most upmarket shopping district in many ways. 277 Redevelopment also the development across the road from 277, and not to mention the great work done on Nutfield street, which is across the road from the train station, and had been done before the station was, and now they have done Osborne street.

    Opps, I didn’t mention the whole main street had been upgraded, although unfortunately they decided to keep 4 lanes plus parking. So overall Newmarket has had the most development of any other part of Auckland I’ve seen over the last 5 years or so. Did you notice those ugly Apartments while you were getting off the train? They are also new.

  13. Jon,

    Thanks for your support. I follow your website closely and it’s getting a big following.
    You’re right, Newmarket is looking good. Nearly $1/2 billion has been spent around Newmarket in the last four years when you consider, the $154m rail upgrade, street and park upgrades, bus corridor to the city, and viaduct motorway upgrade.
    What’s more we’ve eradicated graffiti and thanks to our CCTV cameras the police reported last week that key crime in CDB Newmarket has fallen by nearly 50% in two years. Our murals on the rail corridor below Burger King and on our utility boxes along Broadway are getting great feedback too.
    Still got a long way to go… but we’ll be in a good place when the economy roars again.
    Cameron Brewer
    Newmarket Business Association.
    PS: The cannon is now in Olympic Park and will be mounted soon!

  14. Jon C says:

    @Cameron, Thanks Cameron.
    Love your work.


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