Population Growth

Actively plan for population growth in the central city

Wellington City’s population is expected to increase by over 20% over the next 20 years.  Retaining our inner-city vibrancy and building Wellington as a sustainable eco-city means directing much of that growth into the central city.  We’ve already experienced an almost 10% drop in car use over a decade as a result of increased residential living in the inner city. 

Retaining Wellington’s central city as unique, dynamic and vibrant will rely on our ability to continue to support a greater intensity of activity in all areas – commercial, residential, entertainment and recreation.  Actively planning for inner-city residential population growth enables us to build the urban spaces and places that will work – now and in the future.  We need to acknowledge that what people want will change overtime.  We need to develop buildings and public spaces that are adaptive and flexible, able to be repurposed for different uses over time.

As our population is growing, so it is becoming more diverse.  Making sure that future development and population growth enhances rather than undermines the central city as an attractive destination for people will be critical to Wellington’s success.  This includes ensuring that streets and public spaces are welcoming and easy to get around, and that buildings are designed flexibly to cater for a range of lifestyle and business needs.

Concentrating population growth in the inner city is the most effective way of providing residents with access to a full range of amenities and services.  The growth of Wellington’s central city as one that has ‘mixed use’ has enabled Wellington to offer greater choice and diversity than most cities the same size. 

Actively planning for population growth in the central city requires:

  • Ensuring that inner-city urban development is adaptive and flexible, in response to diverse populations and the need for change over time
  • Continuing to support and grow ‘mixed use’ in the city – as the key driver of the central city’s dynamism and vibrancy.