Innovating Streets for People

Smiling man and two primary school children biking along a cycleway separated from the road carriage by colourful planter boxes.

Innovating Streets for People is a Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency initiative that aims to make it easier for councils to create safer, healthier and more people-friendly towns and cities. On this page you'll find an overview of the five projects it funded in Palmy.

The Innovating Streets pilot fund supports quick, low-cost interim improvements focused on delivering streets that put people first – making them safer and more liveable.

These projects involve users, businesses, residents, iwi and stakeholder groups to ensure the design is right. We want solutions that suit the people that use them. 

For many of the projects, the key factor is ensuring we improve pedestrian and cycling access, while not compromising accessibility.

There are typically five stages to each project:

  1. Initiate
  2. Co-design
  3. Test
  4. Adjust
  5. Rollout or wind down

The total cost of these projects was approximately $563,000. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency funded 90 per cent (more than half a million dollars).

Not all of the projects funded were delivered for the 2020-21 financial year. On the back of lessons from our first round of Innovating Streets projects, we've allocated half a million dollars a year into the 10-Year Plan for future trials.

Main Street cycle safety

We're trialling a separated cycleway on Main Street and have been making a series of adjustments to test the viability of a permanent cycleway here.

Hokowhitu place pilot

This project wasn't completed. It sought to implement placemaking and temporary speed treatments at the four entry points to the Hokowhitu Village shops to create a sense of arrival, slow down traffic and create safe a safe environment for people on foot or bike. 

Engagement with Hokowhitu Village businesses highlighted a number of traffic volume and cycle accessibility issues that will be better addressed within our future programmes for Albert Street and the Albert/Te Awe Awe intersection.


Ruha Street greenway

We implemented a trial greenway along Ruha Street to make it easier to cycle to He Ara Kotahi. This included speed treatments, which were later removed.

George open streets

Co-design with the business community a series of events where the street is closed to cars, to test whether these increase foot traffic and sales in George Street. 

We delivered this project in three phases:

  1. We designed a one-off demonstration event in consultation with businesses to trial a pedestrianised George St. This was timed to take advantage of the Sunday brunch crowd.
  2. We tested whether patron levels would consistently benefit the street over a series of four Sunday road closures. George Street saw an average increase of 21.2% in sales during road closure days, and an average increase in 1.2% for the surrounding area.
  3. We made the process easier for George Street businesses to close the road for markets or events, with a standardised format and roll-out planters to close the street with. Businesses held their first winter festival in the street using this format to welcome two new businesses to the street.

Next steps

Council is committed to continuing to work with George St businesses and residents to investigate what the future of George Street could look like. This is an action in our current 10-Year Plan.

Square Edge place pilot

We rolled out a series of trial placemaking and tactical urbanism improvements to encourage people to hang out in the street. This includes:

  • road art
  • seats
  • landscaping

This pilot successfully increased the level of comfort and identity on the corner of Te Marae o Hine. The combination of planters to separate the footpath from the road, moveable seating to suit any social setting, and community-led road art has increased the amount of people spending time outside Square Edge.

Check out this video on our Facebook page to see how the first part of the pilot was delivered.