Brought about by funding from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets for People initiative, Auaha Evolving Spaces takes a co-design, people centred approach to “tactical urbanism”. This means making temporary changes to spaces to test what solutions might work. Working like this brings residents, businesses, iwi, community and Hutt City Council together to reimagine our public spaces.
By making temporary, low-cost physical changes to our spaces people that use the space get a sense of what their streets and public spaces could look and feel like. Working like this allows ideas to be tested quickly and cost effectively and helps show the positive impacts that change can bring to our streets and neighbourhoods - seeing is believing!
Each project has its own project team made up of people and organisations with an interest in the outcomes. Project teams include residents, business representatives, community members and stakeholders who can provide advice and guidance.
If you’d like to find out more about the project teams, get in touch.
Hutt City Council is powering Auaha Evolving Spaces and managing the Innovating Streets for People funding from Waka Kotahi. Council is committed to working in partnership and using a co-design approach. Co-design means that the people who know the spaces best are actively involved in reimagining how they look, feel and are used. By testing ideas with communities before committing to major investment, Council can be confident that the direction of the changes is right.
Healthy Families Hutt Valley is supporting Auaha Evolving Spaces because our physical spaces play an important role in enabling our wellbeing. Spaces that encourage walking, cycling, play and other active ways of moving around, are enjoyable to spend time in and create connections between people and communities are a step towards a healthier and happier city.
Waka Kotahi runs the nationwide Innovating Streets programme to support a transition to safer, cleaner, healthier and more equitable towns and cities. Innovating Streets is designed to support councils and communities to build experience and knowledge in ‘tactical urbanism’ co-design processes to deliver urban street upgrades faster and with more community insight built in.
Working in this way is pretty new for Aotearoa New Zealand and our project partners. Learning to work like this is part of the journey! Along with other Councils with Innovating Streets for People projects we are learning how to work this way as we go. We know it won’t always go perfectly but that’s why we’re using quick, low-cost temporary trials to test and adapt as we go.
Co-design principles acknowledge that the people who use the spaces are the experts in how they want them to work and function. Co-design means bringing a range of people’s experiences and knowledge together to create new opportunities for how spaces look, feel and are used.
Everyone benefits when spaces work better for people. By putting people’s needs and wants for our public spaces at the centre of our designs means that they will be safer, healthier and more enjoyable to spend time in.
A key part of tactical urbanism is trialling changes as part of the engagement. How people use and react to the changes makes up part of the conversation. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how changes will work until they are in place and being used - seeing is believing!
New and innovative ways of working are based on evidence from the community and experts. All trials focus on co-designing solutions to identified areas for potential improvement that align to long-term strategies or plans.
By monitoring what happens because of the changes, we can see what is happening in real time and adapt and respond together. Monitoring provides the evidence to support any decisions or changes that may be needed.