An excellent, informative and entertaining DIY study tour of North American cities exploring how they have addressed the issues that Auckland is facing both now and in the near future, as it continues to grow and prosper. Tamara was focused on the manner in which these cities have succeeded in shifting the travel modes towards walking, cycling and public transport and how this contributes to their ‘liveability’ . She posed the question of whilst they may be similar issues, are the cities the same as Auckland, can we learn from how they have addressed and to some part succeeded or are we too different?
Tamara travelled to Vancouver, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle to see first hand to study and record best practice and through desktop studies, examined at what point they took the action - big or samll - to make a positive change for the cities liveability .
She identified 5 best practice approaches which only work when together, rather than being stand alone approaches. These were:
Access and STREETS (not roads) giving our streets a sense of identity and ensuring they are community friendly. Using the right street for the right place and understanding the function of streets. In doing this Tamara named checked the recent AT publication Road and Street Framework which is based on the premise of Place and Movement
Moving people and goods. Tamara explored how the cost benefits of different travel modes contribute to public health and economic activity. In doing this she also highlighted the need for the public realm to prioritise the most vulnerable users.
Innovation is not always new (tech). In particular Tamara focused on community innovation using examples such as the sharing of premise is by different users at different times and with an emphasis on local actions.
Density AND quality.
Evidence, vision, commitment
My take away was that all these things are interrelated and difficult to tease apart, needing to combine in various ways to create success. And commitment is key. Whilst we create the vision and share it we know it doesn’t happen overnight. Innovation can help us take small steps towards it and create momentum to deliver the long term successes. Celebrating our successes will be key to holding the vision and spreading the word. We can’t expect everyone to buy in from the get go. Change is hard to understand and most of us experience it rather than predict and prepare for it. By making those incremental changes it builds confidence for the point where we will be in a position to take that big step towards being the worlds most liveable city. Who knows, if we have the confidence it could be a leap forward to shift the car dominated paradigm!
Tamara Bozovic is a transport planner with a love for the cities. She presented to Auckland UDF members on 17 April 2018.