Our vision to Revive Roskill Town Centre

This vision document was released publicly on Monday 26th August 2019, as Roskill Community Voice’s next steps from the Big Ideas for Mt Roskill Town Centre campaign.  Printed copies will be distributed to businesses in the Roskill Town Centre and a summary leaflet produced for wider circulation too, as well as being available online.  

Introduction
The Roskill Community Voice team has produced “Our vision to Revive Roskill Town Centre” for the community because we think the Roskill Town Centre deserves some concentrated and integrated effort to turn it from a scruffy strip to an inviting hub – a place that reflects the vibrancy and diversity of our people.

Our Vision sets out policy in four key areas – planning for the Roskill Town Centre of 2030 and beyond:

  1. Supporting a thriving area for local businesses
  2. Developing a place that attracts our vibrant and diverse community
  3. Securing the transport future of Dominion Road
  4. Creating a safe and flourishing Roskill Town Centre

We want the Roskill Town Centre to have a future beyond the next five years; to be re-woven into the fabric of our community.  It’s vital that local people and organisations have a say in its future development.

Like you, we have been frustrated and concerned about the lack of progress in the Roskill Town Centre over many years now. Back in 2010, before the Super City, the Mt Roskill Community Board signed off on minor amenity improvements which still have not been delivered by Council or Auckland Transport, despite the best efforts of successive local boards.  The minor streetscape improvements due to happen later this year will help a little, but a more comprehensive and planned approach is necessary to really revive the area and give it a future as a place for people.

Change can bring opportunities and challenges – we have written this document after listening to your ideas and concerns. To bring it all together we recently ran the Big Ideas for Mt Roskill Town Centre campaign.  We have collated the feedback gathered from the public meeting in July, in person, through our Big Ideas postcards and online, and have developed this set of policies responding to key issues.

We believe that it is important for the local community to have capable representatives with comprehensive and well thought through policies on key local issues. We hope that this document helps you to understand the approach Roskill Community Voice members will take if elected to the Puketāpapa Local Board.

We are excited about our vision to Revive Roskill Town Centre and, with your support, hope to be able to implement this vision on the Puketāpapa Local Board. Please contact us with any questions or comments.

1. Supporting a thriving area for our local businesses

A town centre can’t work well without successful local businesses and willing landlords as part of the team.

As part of the Big Ideas for Mt Roskill Town Centre discussion you gave a lot of interesting ideas about shops and activities that could happen in the town centre. Food was a central theme, as the word cloud below shows  (the bigger the words the more often that suggestion was made).

In order to revive Roskill Town Centre we will all need to work together to support the private sector to make the changes we seek, in terms of filling vacant shops, temporarily and in the long term, to create a town centre we can be proud to go to.

You said:  “Clean up of shop fronts” “…more alive at night!”  “Shopping locally builds community, supports local businesses and creates vibrancy.”

Actions we plan to take:

  • Promote to local real estate agents opportunities for temporary uses of empty shops like a youth space, drop in centre for seniors, pop up shops, gallery, markets.
  • Work with local landlords on what to do about vacant shops in the medium and long term including investigating the viability of a food court.
  • Establish a local network group to discuss town centre issues regularly, supported by a dedicated Mt Roskill Town Centre portfolio position on the local board.
  • Support the local network group with an initial $20,000 fund to support promotion and small initiatives for the town centre, and investigate a sustainable long-term funding plan.
  • Work with Panuku Development Auckland and the Dominion Road Business Association on development and retail strategies.

2. Developing a place that attracts our vibrant and diverse community

Mt Roskill is the most diverse community in Aotearoa New Zealand, and one of the most multicultural in the world.  We deserve a town centre that reflects and celebrates that, and attracts people from all parts of our community to participate.

You said:  “Lots of native plantings and areas for sitting and chatting” “Nod to history, enhance the clock tower and area, lots of art!!”  “I love the little corner park in Sandringham shops and would love to see that replicated.”  “We need more people – some more residences, better shop fronts, nice-looking”

Actions we plan to take:

  • Set up a local art competition in shop windows, to temporarily brighten up the area and show the possibilities for future art that references our people and character
  • Work with existing groups doing exciting short-term activations to liven up our town centre through initiatives like public art, fun activities, and performance.
  • In the medium term, we will investigate a range of events to be held in the town centre which will attract people to visit and showcase the strengths of our community eg street festival like Sandringham
  • Encourage and support short term community efforts to bring local flavour to the village
  • Work with housing organisations such as Kainga Ora and developers to secure good quality mixed use development in and adjacent to the town centre, in line with the Unitary Plan
  • Connect with the design community to create opportunities for meaningful community involvement in future planning for the area, such as through community design charettes
  • Consider cost-effective short-term initiatives to ‘green up’ the town centre with attractive plantings

3. Securing Dominion Road’s transport future

Mt Roskill Town Centre has been held back for years by indecision about the future of transport infrastructure down this busy arterial route. We know that buses will soon be at capacity again, and that light rail along Dominion Road will provide the mode shift we need to move people and create a vibrant hub at our town centre. But the needs of locals have had to wait for decisions from local and central government about what transport investments will be made. Certainty is also important for landlords and tenants to invest in their properties.

You said: “Pedestrian priority is vital to give a sense of village and safety” “Can’t compete with shopping malls on abundant free parking” “Nobody wants to invest money til the decision is made re rail” “Separated cycleways and lots of bike parking” “More accessible and safe [car]parking spaces”

Actions we plan to take

  • Ensure a community advisory group, including local residents, organisations and businesses, is established and supported to give input to the development of light rail stations and infrastructure in our community, giving priority to creating:
    • A friendly pedestrian environment, including connections across Dominion Rd
    • Opportunities for people to use different modes of transport that suit their lifestyles
    • An open street frontage that invites activity like al fresco dining, busking and a street festival
  • Work with Auckland Transport on designing a neighbourhood interchange, for current public transport, that meets the community’s needs
  • Seek urgent clarity on the likely time-frame for the development of light-rail to enable clear short, medium, and long-term planning for our town centre.

4. Creating a safe and flourishing Roskill Town Centre

A friendly vibrant town centre is safe and green, both by including nature and by reducing the environmental impact of local activities, as well as making it a place children and young people want to be.

You said:  ““Without the town centre the community becomes disjointed with no sense of belonging.” “We have lived in the area for nearly 5 years and would love to see the town center become a vibrant, clean, safe and fun place to visit.”  ““People will come to the area if they feel safe”

Actions we plan to take

  • Start a Keep Mt Roskill Beautiful campaign focused on cleaning up the town centre on a regular basis
  • Support for local businesses to undertake green audits, in particular our takeaways and food businesses
  • Working with local police, Mt Roskill Community Patrol and Neighbourhood Support to increase safety, and look at a local wardens/street ambassadors programme
  • Work with social service agencies and draw from the Healthy Puketapapa Action Plan to reduce homelessness and begging by providing vulnerable people with the support they need.

Next steps

We’ll be spreading the word about our vision to Revive Roskill Town Centre, and if elected as a Roskill Community Voice majority we’ll be able to follow this plan on the Puketāpapa Local Board in the new term.

In the meantime we will be continuing to engage with the local community to refine these ideas and progress them where possible. Reviving our Roskill Town Centre will take all of us getting involved.

If you’d like to help us out, please get in touch.

The Roskill Community Voice team would like to thank everyone who contributed to Big Ideas for Roskill Town Centre campaign – it would not have been possible without your input.

You’ll see our team out and about around Puketāpapa so feel free to talk to us: Harry Doig, Julie Fairey, Anne-Marie Coury, Shail Kaushal, Bobby Shen and Jon Turner.

 

Authorised by R Gallagher, 15 Torrance St, Royal Oak

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