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Budget constraints squash city improvement ideas

Feb 8th, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

CHEAP ideas are the only ones Wellington can afford from the conference two councillors attended on Australia’s Gold Coast in October 2012.

Quake-driven budget cuts means new ideas costing money are not possible, say Wellington city councillors Paul Eagle and Leonie Gill.

Cr Eagle, right, says post-quake fears have made people financially cautious, making it difficult to improve the capital.

But he says the earthquake has not hamstrung Wellington’s development.

“It just means the council has to introduce ideas that do not involve spending a lot of money.

“For example, engaging the community and listening to their needs does not cost much, but it could improve how the city is run.”

Cr Eagle and Cr Gill attended the two day conference on the Gold Coast to discuss initiatives for growing cities, a trip which cost more than $7000.

The conference, hosted by International Cities Town Centres and Communities Society, produced several ideas which may be applied in Wellington, but not now says Cr Gill, left.

“Unfortunately the council is cutting back on costs due to the earthquake strengthening so we won’t be able to action those ideas at the moment,” says Cr Gill.

“But there were some really great ideas that I could see used in Wellington to develop different cultural needs and public spaces,” she says.

One such idea was the ‘Power of 10’, where a city concentrates on ten areas, then focuses further on those areas to produce ten activities in each.

An alternative idea to slowing down traffic using a roundabout enabled Palmerston North to set up four corners of an intersection with cafes and art stalls.

These four corners of activities helped motorists in slowing down

Cr Gill uses Cuba St as an example where work is needed.

She says revitalising Cuba Street may mean the street is not just used as a thoroughfare, but to stop and shop.

The conference included a variety of keynote speakers, including Dr Richard Simmons, visiting professor city design and regeneration at the University of Greenwich in London.

Cr Paul Eagle says the trip was valuable for his role.

“You are experiencing someone else’s process and thinking, and it opens you up to the bigger picture.”

A report was presented to the council late last month about the ideas collected at the conference which would help councillors when developing policies.

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  1. Excellent idea about the roundabout

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