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Urban transformation needs to start now

Tauranga is growing quickly and that means we need to focus our efforts on the things that need to happen to accommodate growth and safeguard our great lifestyle. For a start, we need to think about building up and not just out. And we need to think differently about how and where we live and how we get to work, school and tertiary education.

Over the next 30 years, it’s estimated that 15,000 more people will be living on the Te Papa peninsula – the area between the Harbour Bridge and Barkes Corner.

That means we need to start work now to transform Te Papa into a place where more and more people can live, work, study and play.

Te Papa urban transformation will take time, but the key things it will provide are:

  • Greater housing choices and more dwellings within our existing footprint.
  • People-friendly streets.
  • A thriving economy.
  • More efficient public transport and increased bus use.
  • More opportunities for walking and cycling.
  • More connected neighbourhoods with great public amenity.
  • A more sustainable and greener urban footprint.
  • Connection to a vibrant city centre.

Work is underway on a number of fronts to start our urban transformation process, including plan changes to allow housing styles that are better suited to peoples’ needs, such as apartment buildings and duplexes. Of course, those changes have to be matched by improvements to facilities and services, so that our great city lifestyle is safeguarded.

At the same time, work has started to futureproof Cameron Road, the Te Papa’s main transport corridor, largely funded by a $45 million Government grant. The first stage of this project focuses on the section between 17th Avenue and the CBD and will provide morning and evening bus clearways (with a move to dedicated bus lanes as demand increases); wider paths and better and safer crossings for pedestrians; a dedicated two-way cycle way; and more trees and planted areas.

Aging water and wastewater infrastructure will also be renewed and upgraded to provide for an increasing population, while stormwater systems will undergo environmental improvements to prevent run-off contaminating waterways and Tauranga Harbour.

Stage 2 of this project will complete the job of transforming the whole corridor from the CBD right through to Barkes Corner and beyond to the Tauriko business and commercial areas.

Te Papa urban transformation is a critical building block for Tauranga’s future and we’re working with our regional and central Government partners, local residential and business communities and tangata whenua to ensure we get it right.

Change won’t happen immediately, of course, but the actions we are initiating now will help us accommodate growth, reduce car dependency, reduce our carbon footprint and create a more sustainable, people-friendly city.

Read more: Commissioners front up to Tauranga challenge

Anne Tolley
Tauranga Commission Chair

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