The waterfront atmosphere

The redevelopment of Auckland's waterfront has been warmly welcomed by Aucklanders.

As this formerly private, closed-off area is opened up and revitalised into new public space Waterfront Auckland has had a focus on making sure the waterfront atmosphere is welcoming and interesting, a place where there is always something to surprise and delight.

This change in atmosphere, that's drawing people to this part of the city in their thousands is a conscious programme of placemaking.

Placemaking is not just building or fixing up a space nor is it the production of events and activation in public spaces. It is a much larger and all-encompassing activity that fosters the creation of public destinations: the kind of places where people feel a strong stake in their communities and a commitment to making things better.

Placemaking capitalizes on a local community's assets, inspiration, and potential, to create good public spaces that promote people's health, happiness, and wellbeing. It is the process by which great urban places are conceived, delivered and managed.

Placemaking is a global movement. Read more here »

"Put into practice, placemaking seeks to build or improve public space, spark public discourse, create beauty and delight, engender civic pride, connect neighbourhoods, support community health and safety, grow social justice, catalyze economic development, promote environmental sustainability, and of course nurture an authentic 'sense of place'."

Places in the Making by MIT Department of Urban studies and planning

Waterfront Auckland has had a focus on a holistic and curated approach to the planning of infrastructure, real estate, amenities, community needs and economic development, as well as the staging of events and activities. Critically, the whole process is being done with, and for the benefit of, the end users - people. Who are, ultimately, the reason we are making this place.

Since Wynyard Quarter opened in August 2011 a programme of place-based initiatives has been established to develop the sense of community within the precinct. These draw on the area's unique maritime and industrial heritage and design lead vision. They include weekly Workshops on the Wharf, Silo Cinema and Night Markets alongside more spontaneous or unpublished activities that are designed to ensure there is always a sense of something new happening in the area.

Waterfront Auckland carefully curates and manages this programme in order to both harness and grow the unique flavours of the waterfront.

Placemaking on the Auckland Waterfront requires a combined approach of attracting the right mix of businesses, creating a neighbourhood amongst residents, tenants and local business, providing social and community infrastructure both soft and hard, activating spaces and places, and housing events which draw locals and visitors to a new city precinct.

This work is designed to engender a sense of value, respect, and welcome for all Aucklanders and visitors to the waterfront - a "virtuous cycle of placemaking" in this new place.

At the core of any great urban place, is the public realm - the streets, parks, promenades and plazas where people are free to be. Successful public space is dependant not only on careful design and consideration within its boundaries, but also the design, arrangement, use and tenancies of adjacent buildings and infrastructure. The management of a place is critical. There are many examples of what appear to be well planned and delivered physical places, but which decay over time due to poor management.

"Nobody can leave this conversation without realising that identity building, place-making, design, character-building, is a substantial undertaking and that it's the beginning, the middle and the end of everything. It is not a department, it's not a piece of work, it's not a phase, it's a permanent agenda."

Greg Clark, Moderator, SeaEdge 2012

Events on the Waterfront

Waterfront Auckland works closely with Auckland Council, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), Regional Facilities Auckland, the community, events industry and other key stakeholders to facilitate and assist delivery of a continuous programme across the Waterfront spaces – a programme which is designed to evolve as the area evolves. Waterfront Auckland's role is to ensure that there is a diverse calendar of social, cultural and business events and activation offerings throughout the year, taking place across the key waterfront precincts.