New Lynn is a great example of successful place-making in Auckland.
In the 1990s New Lynn centre was in decline, as were local employment opportunities.
This was because of a general decline in manufacturing and because several major arterial roads and the North Auckland railway line cut through the centre.
The gradual decline of the centre could be seen in the quality of its built environment.
New Lynn was identified as a centre of strategic importance. This provided a strong signal for the substantial shared investment and development effort across multiple agencies that were needed to improve the town centre, and create additional residential and employment opportunities.
A community-led place-making process resulted in a master plan that would eventually see its revitalisation and transformation over the coming decades.
It was a transformational vision for New Lynn as a major urban growth area, based on the principles of a transit oriented development.
It opened up opportunities for a more connected and integrated urban environment and included:
- development of a new war memorial library, public plaza, Olympic Park, Rewarewa pedestrian bridge, and the New Lynn rail station and bus interchange
- the upgrade of Totara Avenue and Todd Triangle as shared spaces
- trenching and covering the North Auckland rail line through New Lynn to enable better connections in and around the town centre
- upgrades of Clark Street, Great North Road and associated link roads
- an extension to Clark Street with a new road-over-rail bridge.
This large-scale public investment and development was sustained over more than a decade, and was vital for New Lynn's transformation into a more market attractive centre.
The transport and public realm investments were largely complete by 2012 and the New Lynn rail station, a key transport interchange for west Auckland, is now the busiest rail station on the western line.
A number of plan changes between 2007 and 2012 supported further intensive residential development in and around the centre.
There were two key developments - Crown Lynn and the Merchant Quarter. Both sites now include upgraded urban spaces with designs that reflect New Lynn's history.
Today the streets and public spaces are more pedestrian-friendly, with new public facilities, space for more businesses, and higher density housing within walking distance of the train station.
Through place-making, New Lynn has become a better connected, high-quality centre, with the infrastructure to support market-led growth.