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Auckland Council The Auckland Plan

Focus area 1: Create safe opportunities for people to meet, connect, participate in, and enjoy community and civic life

A well-connected society enables access to community resources, and provides for positive experiences and better life outcomes.

One key way to support a connected society is to provide safe, shared places and spaces where social and cultural life can flourish. 

Welcoming and safe places can help combat loneliness, depression and addictive behaviours.  Everyday interactions with others in such places help create positive relationships, increase our perception of safety and contribute to our sense of community.

The nature and quality of these places and spaces is therefore important.  They need to be well connected, inclusive and easily accessible.

Also, our sense of belonging is tied to identity and attachment to place. The way people use Auckland’s streets, squares, parks and other public open space influences the meaning they attach to these places and spaces.  Heritage, particularly built heritage, anchors our sense of history and place and helps define what is unique and distinctive about Auckland.

Our urban, rural and island communities all have distinctive identities and unique character.  Neighbourhoods and settlements reflect local heritage, culture and identity.  This in turn fosters local pride, connectedness, a willingness to work together, and ultimately enhances our sense of community.

This identity and character can be expressed in our places and spaces.

Read more about creating urban places for the future

The rise of online communities is an important way for people to connect with each other and participate in issues important to them, but physical spaces for human contact remain important. 

When people connect and interact they learn about other cultures, practices, languages and abilities. This leads to more trust and greater respect for differences.

 

​How this can be done

Efforts to create community connectedness can focus on:

  • providing sufficient safe, shared spaces and places that are flexible in how individuals, whānau and communities can use them and that are easily accessible
  • ensuring universal access is built into developments
  • community initiatives and expression of local identity, character, historic or cultural heritage
  • festivals and events, including events that are accessible and free, especially at a local level, that create opportunities to interact and learn about each other
  • ways to better involve individuals, groups and communities, especially those generally under-represented and not often heard, in civic and democratic processes
  • supporting activities which actively foster relationships between different communities.

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