Dynamic Central City

People in the central city at a summer event

Toward 2040: A Smart Capital sets out a vision for a city with a dynamic centre - a place of creativity, exploration and innovation. The central city will be a vibrant and creative place, helping Wellington to offer the lifestyle, entertainment and amenity of a much bigger city. The CBD will continue to drive the regional economy.

Goals for a dynamic central city

Wellington’s ‘story’ told through built form and natural heritage
Showcase what Wellington values – respect for the natural environment, heritage, creativity and cultural diversity - and reflect the city’s status as the capital city of New Zealand.

Showcase Wellington’s green infrastructure and quality built form
Encouragement of green infrastructure developments, a clear regulatory model that supports quality built form and support for the uptake of emergent technologies.

Supporting the central city as the region’s economic engine room
Continuing to invest in growing economic activity in the central city for the benefit of the wider city and region, while protecting the lifestyle features that make Wellington ‘a place where talent wants to live’.

Actively plan for population growth in the central city
Ensuring inner-city development is adaptive and flexible in response to diverse populations and continued support for ‘mixed use’ as the key driver of the central city’s dynamism and vibrancy.

Strategic planning for urban development in the central city
A Central City Framework will guide improvements to streets, built-form and landscape, identify long-term projects and suggest policy changes to enable a more resilient urban environment.

Why a dynamic city centre?

Engine room of Wellington’s economy

The mix of commercial, residential and tourism offerings supports the central city’s role as the economic engine room for the wider city and region. 52% of the region’s GDP and 68% of employment is located in the central city.

The face of the City – compact, accessible, liveable

Wellington’s compact and dynamic central city, unique in Australasia, has developed over recent years into one of its most distinctive features, attracting people to work, live, visit and play.

Supporting vibrancy, creativity and innovation 

Wellington’s distinctive compact central city provides an environment for the kind of ‘unplanned activities’ known to drive innovation and creativity. We will develop our streets, laneways, boulevards, built form and open spaces to reinforce Wellington as a city built for people.