Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has announced an additional $10.1 million investment through the Innovating Streets for People pilot fund to make towns and cities more people friendly, in addition to $13.95 million announced in June.
Through two rounds of funding, Waka Kotahi is supporting councils to create vibrant neighbourhoods that make streets safer and create more space for people.
Kathryn King, Waka Kotahi’s Portfolio Manager Developing Regions says “We’re funding 32 more projects from councils across the country that will help to create streets that everyone can enjoy by moving around in safe, healthy and sustainable ways. We’re really pleased with the interest councils across the country have shown in the fund and in delivering projects that put people first.
“Projects will include safe streets around schools so children can get some exercise and out into nature on their way to school, ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’ where people can access local streets that are made much quieter by reducing rat-running by others, and town centre revitalisations to make business districts more vibrant.”
Innovating Streets is a nationwide programme designed to support councils and communities to build experience and knowledge in co-design processes to deliver urban street upgrades faster and with more community insight built in.
Waka Kotahi is currently working through funding agreements with councils for Round 2 projects and they will be added once councils have announced to their communities. All projects will be delivered by June 2021.
The pilot fund is just one part of the Innovating Streets programme, with changes being made to technical guidance to make it easier for all councils to deliver these ‘tactical urbanism’ projects.
Recently the Land Transport: Traffic Control Devices Rule 2004 was amended to allow roadway art to be used by councils on low-risk streets, similar to many projects seen overseas. A draft Tactical Urbanism Handbook has also been developed for councils as a ‘how to’ guide that can be referred to at each phase of the project lifecycle.
Councils delivering funded projects will be supported through a Community of Practice which enables peer-to-peer sharing of expertise and lessons learned with the intent of raising capability across the country.
The pilot fund has a 90% Funding Assistance Rate (FAR) which is the proportion of the approved costs that will be paid from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF), with councils making up the other 10%.
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