How will the central city look in 20 or 40 years' time? A Council project, using urban planners, economists, infrastructure experts and local and regional stakeholders has been examining the possibilities.
Central to this has been work done with the community to consider how to best make our city’s long-held desire to create a true river city become reality.
What is the CCTP?
The CCTP is a comprehensive framework for coordinating the thinking and discussion around the design and development of the central city and its neighbouring communities. It shows how a dynamic 24-hour city, with the river as its centrepiece, could be developed successfully. The CCTP strengthens the case for infrastructure investment and private investment in central Lower Hutt.
The CCTP is the culmination of 3 decades of formal planning and community consultation that seeks to re-energise a city centre firmly focused on Hutt River/Te Awa Kairangi. The CCTP updates and adds essential detail to Council’s 2009 vision document for the central city - Making Places.
What makes the CCTP especially relevant now is that planning for RiverLink is advanced and the resource consents process is about to get underway. RiverLink will improve flood protection and transport connections in central Lower Hutt, and provide the foundation for a new riverside promenade.
The research behind the CCTP confirms RiverLink is the one opportunity for Lower Hutt to bring the river to its rightful place in the central city, and the only opportunity on the horizon to reinvigorate the broader central city.
Because the full CCTP document is large. We recommend browsing the Central City Transformation Plan sections and downloading the ones you need.
The CCTP is a strategic framework to guide future development. It is aimed at creating a vibrant 24-hour city focused firmly on the river, and contributing to the growth of Lower Hutt beyond the central city.
The CCTP has a focus on housing. Careful residential development is considered the most effective way to reinvigorate the central city by turning it from "a place to get stuff to a place to do stuff". Its authors note that the city centre has the "potential to dramatically reposition itself as a vibrant location for inner city living".
The CCTP looks at the central commercial area of around 56 hectares, as defined by the District Plan. It also considers the neighbourhoods bordering this area and the land between the western riverbank and State Highway 2. The CCTP recommends connecting the central city to Alicetown with a second proposed pedestrian bridge.
Lower Hutt's central city in 20-40 years?
The map below gives a broad idea of how the central city’s street network could change and shows the areas of potential new development (depicted in apricot).
Principles and related projects
The CCTP is based on 9 principles and related projects, including:
Consolidating the city’s core
Lower Hutt’s central city is too spread out. Traditional on-street shopping is spread too thinly to create the variety and intensity that characterises successful city centres.
- Gradually concentrate retail within a pedestrian-orientated area bounded by Dudley and Margaret streets, Queens Drive and Laings Road.
- Introduce a network of minor streets and lanes including east-west connections that open up the core central city to the river.
A clear, distinct route between the bridges
The central city’s street layout evolved piecemeal from several early country roads, resulting in a flawed street pattern which is confusing to visitors.
- Create a distinctive and legible route from State Highway 2 across the relocated Melling Bridge at Queens Drive and along Queens Drive to Ewen Bridge,
- reconfigure the intersection of Laings Road and Queens Drive, and
- manage pedestrian-vehicle conflict at Margaret Street and other east-west streets and lanes.
Turn to face the river
Historically, commercial development focused on High Street and Queens Drive and the mainly north-south orientation of streets and the existing stop banks have cut off the river from the city’s urban centre. RiverLink is the one opportunity on the horizon to bring the river and city core together, creating a more distinctive character and a more economically competitive area.
In line with Council’s plans for a riverside promenade:
- provide a broad high-amenity walkway along the stop bank between Ewen and Melling bridges,
- encourage high-quality medium-rise apartments with lower levels able to accommodate cafes, restaurants, retail and commerce, and
- provide east-west connections linking the central city core to the river and beyond, over the river to Alicetown, Melling and the Western Hills.
The northern part of the central city is a distinct area with large format retail, low-rise offices and ample off-street parking. This "North Central" area is economically healthier than much of the central city. The street pattern is different from the rest of the city centre resulting in awkwardly shaped intersections (together with commercial signage) that make the streetscape visually chaotic.
- following the relocation of Melling Bridge, roundabouts are removed and Melling Link becomes fully part of the local street grid,
- a comprehensive tree planting programme will improve the visual character of the area,
- more emphasis on strip shopping at the intersection of High and Brunswick streets and Melling Road, which could become the nucleus of a future urban village.
The CCTP is a long-term strategy document providing detailed guidance for:
- Councillors and Council officers,
- developers and investors,
- infrastructure providers, and
- others who will help shape the future of the central city.
It provides the detail, evidence and insight for Council to advance its vision of rejuvenating Lower Hutt.
For more information on the CCTP, check out the frequently asked questions or contact Hutt City Council Urban Design Manager Paki Maaka:
T: 04 570 6798