In 2010, when the Waimakariri District Council committed to creating a more vibrant town centre for Rangiora, it quickly became clear that access and parking was a key issue. They recognised that this was constraining the economic development of the town and were determined to find better ways to make use of the available space. They enlisted our services, along with an economist and two urban design consultants, to develop a strategy to overcome these challenges.
We considered the behavioural trends of shoppers in the town centre, looking at how long they stayed once they had found a park. We consulted with local business owners and key stakeholders, running workshops and helping them to understand the ‘bigger picture’. Rather than forcing our ideas on them we engaged, listened and discussed various solutions, eventually creating a number of recommendations which we presented in the form of a parking management strategy.
As well as advice on how to make better use of specific parking locations around the town centre we also recommended reducing parking limits from two-hours to one, enhancing turnover and increasing the volume of visitors. The council was in the throes of implementing the strategies we had suggested when the Canterbury earthquakes struck, causing considerable damage and disruption within the community. However, the basis for our findings remain valid to this day, and they are currently being used as an integral part of the council’s new district plan for the region.