Takapuna's Future Auckland Council Survey 2017
Took part in an Auckland City Survey about the future of Takapuna yesterday. Don't do surveys usually but felt it was a civic responsibility. It was about the future of Takapuna and what the Council could do better.
Takapuna's attraction was that is was a fresh 'seasidy' small town with a relaxed holiday atmosphere rather like the small 'seasidy' towns one encounters in LA. The clean unspoiled beach and the attractive main street with palms and small restaurants adding to the ambiance. Parking then was easy. This has all gone.
Where does one start? All councils to date have worked on the premise that if it is green open space then cover it with concrete. Tennis club will possibly go same way and croquet and golf clubs too. Also the trees in Hurstmere Road appear to be under threat. Population Growth was the answer and population growth is what the area has got. The snag is that access to the area has not been provided. If you live there and do not need to park you are OK but the open spaces are now few and getting fewer! Soon none will be left. All this is progress.
What all councils seem to forget is that if you force people into cramped living conditions small flats, no gardens then they have to live on the streets and go out to public spaces for recreation so it is vitally important to protect all open public spaces. I was asked what cities did I think worked and I replied London, Paris , New York all of which have huge public parks in the centre of their cities. Can you imagine Central Park, or Hyde Park and Regents Park built over?
Strangely Christchurch today is an example of good city planning. The earthquake has demolished vast areas of unfortunate buildings and because of liquefaction cannot be built upon again so vast areas of Christchurch have been opened up. One cannot do this now in Takapuna which is an over built mess.
I find parking in Takapuna impossible so now I rarely go there. Dogs on beach make life unpleasant too. It is sad I used to shop and walk regularly in Takapuna now I take the ferry to Auckland and shop in Queen St which will be nice too one day! Car parking in Takapuna is impossible and a journey by Public Transport from my house would be one hour there and one hour back plus a long walk. By car it takes 10 minutes but the bus would go via Sydney to get there!The powers that be have made a mess of Takapuna. Too many people crammed in and not enough space to serve them let alone attract outside visitors.
I was asked for suggestions and I replied very good architects and a courageous council who was not in the hands of greedy property developers. Growth in population is not possible until social infrastructure is up to the task of serving those who are already here.