Fort Street showcases the important role shared surfaces can play in using street space more efficiently to create new destinations and improved economic performance for adjacent businesses.
Fort Street has been widely acknowledged as an international exemplar ‘shared space’, and since its completion has delivered massive uplift in footfall and turnover for surrounding businesses in the neighbourhood.
The term ‘shared space’ refers to the approach of removing any clear demarcation between vehicles and pedestrians, prioritising the pedestrian and enabling them to share the street in a more equitable and efficient manner.
Fort Street is one of several new ‘shared spaces’ implemented in Auckland’s CBD in recent years to enhance pedestrian connectivity, and provide much-needed additional outdoor space for adjacent businesses to capitalise on the underused street space. Fort Street itself is close to the city’s waterfront, and follows the original, pre-reclamation shoreline, linking to some of the city’s earliest streets.
In 2008 the Fort Street area was identified as having significant potential for transformation into a more attractive and user-friendly environment. Consequently six streets in the area were selected for receiving a high quality upgrade.
The project removed conventional kerbs and installed a single level paving surface across the full width of the street to create the shared space.
The work began in 2009 and was carried out in three stages between 2010 and 2013.