In partnership with The Southern Initiative (Auckland City Council) and Auckland Transport.

In 2017, Auckland city was home to 1.37 million people, and 1.05 million cars, with more than 40,000 new cars being introduced to the region every year. In the culturally diverse but economically disadvantaged area of South Auckland, council is predicting a three-fold increase in the population by 2040, and a corresponding increase in the number of vehicles would place significant pressure on roading infrastructure. It would also see a dramatic increase in air pollution and the associated heath impacts.

The Southern Initiative, a local government entity, invited design students from Auckland University of Technology to explore ways to encourage cycling amongst South Auckland youth. A co-design approach was adopted to identify obstacles and opportunities. Although road safety was identified as a common concern, a more significant insight was the abandonment of cycling by teenagers due to the ‘cool’ factor associated with travelling in cars driven by peers. Students worked with local youth to develop an intervention aimed at addressing this preconception. The outcome was a free event that featured food and music as drawcards, but also invited the community to engage with cycling through trialling e-bikes, virtual-reality all-terrain biking, and charging cell-phones using cycle-power. The event would also offer safety information, a bike repair pod, and the opportunity for all patrons to win an e-bike. Overarching goals were to encourage the uptake of cycling to provide an economical mode of transport, with additional health and well-being benefits for riders. A reduction in private vehicle use would also decrease net carbon emissions and prevent the diversion of local government funding into additional roading infrastructure.


Academic Supervisor: Lisa McEwan (AUT University).

Student designers: Ashlea Brookes, Geneva Hamilton, Joanna Gibbs, Stuart Price.