The future of New Plymouth's CBD could be more green spaces, more apartments and less traffic
Tuesday 14 May
More green spaces, more people calling it their home and fewer cars getting in their way will help New Plymouth create a vibrant city centre, industry leaders say.
Representatives from the property, retail, hospitality and tourism and the community health and environment sectors pitched their thoughts and ideas at the New Plymouth District Council CBD 2050 Summit initiative at the TSB Showplace on Tuesday.
The summit is a follow-on from the first forum held in November and many of the same ideas were raised as then.
Representing the property sector, Gary Malcolm of RE/MAX Team Realty New Plymouth, said more homes were needed in the CBD.
"There's a demand from people who want to live in the city," he said.
"It will no longer be a business centre, it will be a community centre."
Mike Drew, of valuers TelferYoung, said with the recent rental property crisis the demand for inner-city living would increase and with that the district council needed to start thinking of the development of residential car parking in the city.
As the occurrence of people living in city centre increased the property pair agreed demand would also increase for more green and open areas, such as the Huatoki Plaza.
Representing the community health and environment sector Wharehoka Wano said the city had an issue of trying to move the traffic out of the CBD. He hoped by 2050 heavy traffic would no longer be on the CBD roads.
NPDC infrastructure manager David Langford said the rates of car ownership were increasing and to improve the environment closing some streets in the CBD to cars needed to be considered.
"It would be an awesome result for the quality of life in the CBD," he said.
The meeting was run by retail and strategic planning specialist Chris Wilkinson, from First Retail Group.
"Today's just been outstanding. We've got such a spectrum and this is exactly what we wanted to achieve. There was a really key message from the stakeholders that they want to see things happen quickly.
"From this will flow all kinds of other discussions," he said.
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