October 2, 2019

Increasing community connectivity in Lincoln North

A community initiative in Lincoln North is gathering momentum to increase walking accessibility through local neighbourhoods. The initiative aims to enable community to move around with ease by increasing street connectivity and in turn, increase their levels of physical activity.

Through a prior workshop, residents in Lincoln North highlighted the suburb as not conducive to physical activity. It was highlighted Lincoln Road cuts the Lincoln North community through the middle, with residential housing and education providers on either side of a busy arterial road. The area is currently designed for cars, rather than walking, seeing parents more likely to drop their children to school (for safety concerns), rather than participate in active transport such as walking and cycling.

In partnership with the Walking Access Commission and Auckland Transport, Healthy Families Waitākere are opening up conversations with schools and private landowners to increase street connectivity through opening walkways between arterial roads.

Healthy Families Waitākere Manager, Kerry Allan, says a growing body of evidence suggests the built environment plays a significant role on levels of physical activity.

“Prevailing research indicates neighbourhood features such as green spaces, retail density, sidewalks and street connectivity positively influence physical activity. One of the most convenient forms of exercise for all ages is walking. With this in mind, we are working in partnership to increase street connectivity in Lincoln North, with the support from a number of private landowners and schools.”

Auckland Transport is currently working with a local primary school, Pomaria School, co-designing safe walking routes for students and surveying Waitākere College to understand how students are currently commuting to school.

Insights gathered and survey results will inform the next steps in the initiative.