In partnership with The Southern Initiative (Auckland City Council) and Auckland Transport.
Reliance on cars as a primary mode of transport carries significant social, economic, and environmental impacts. In South Auckland, a lower socio-economic area of Auckland, the costs of running private vehicles adds financial burden to households, and sedentary mobility choices affect health. In this project, AUT students explored opportunities for encouraging families to choose walking as a main mode of transport, focussing on Station Road, a 1.5km stretch between Otahuhu town centre and the newly redeveloped train station. Students adopted a co-design methodology, engaging council, transport experts and the community to participate in the project.
A significant number of industrial businesses are situated on Station Road, and Auckland Transport advised that there was a high incidence of child-car collisions in the area, a distinct concern given the number of schools and leisure centres on the street. Community participants also identified safety as a major concern, stating that they were not always able to supervise children walking to school.
To address these concerns, the students designed a number of alterations to the road structure, including adding a cycleway, a planted verge, and increasing the visibility of pedestrian crossings using commissioned artwork based on designs from the local schools – all designed to impact driver behaviour. Redevelopment of the sidewalk would feature a wider pedestrian area, including an undulating scooter track for children. An open streets day, along with a ‘free scooters for kids’ initiative to be facilitated by schools, would encourage community ‘ownership’ of the street, supporting the broader goal of influencing existing mobility patterns. The plan has been presented to council.
Academic Supervisor: Lisa McEwan (AUT University).
Student designers: Maddy Price, Claudia Henty, Judy Hoang, Jessica Brown.