Pedestrianisation: are we reading from the same page? Perspective from key stakeholders in Takapuna, Auckland
Wooller, L; Badland, H; Schofield, G
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Transforming car-oriented streets into functional public spaces and pedestrianised environments has the potential to create environments that support active transport (e.g. walking and cycling), social interaction, and economic development. In the face of built environment characteristics, individual perceptions play a vital role in travel behaviour, spend characteristics, and social cohesion. This study investigates the perceived benefits of pedestrianising a shopping precinct in Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine stakeholders across three groups: shoppers, retailers, and local government. Shoppers and retailers perceived pedestrianisation schemes as a way of improving: aesthetics; connectivity and accessibility; safety; public transport infrastructure, and walking and cycling levels within the area. Retailers were also concerned about the impact of short-term construction on revenue. Local government respondents realised the potential of pedestrianising the site to improve existing infrastructure and become more economically competitive with other nearby retail options. All stakeholders recognised the importance and benefit of securing collaborative input into urban regeneration schemes. Any urban regeneration developments must be considered within a long-term cohesive strategic framework. Overall perceptions of pedestrianising Takapuna were seen as positive across all groups, and seen as being able to make improvements across multiple areas including further supporting business development.