Here are the issues/observations/ideas that people are bringing to my attention. Add yours to the comments section below or give me a call anytime: 021 128 5046.
On This Page
- What Residents Say When I Visit Their Homes
- Interviews With Passionate Taurangians
What Residents Say When I Visit Their Homes
I have set a goal of visiting 10,000 homes. So far I have visited:
We-Fie’s (Instead of Selfies) With Residents
Click these photo to see what people are saying to me.
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Resident Stories, Ideas, Concerns
Here’s what they’ve told me.
- Mary: Is afraid of downtown at night. She feels unsafe
- Barbara: Appreciates the old Pohutakawa Trees in Fergusson Park and how hard the council’s job is
- Bailey: Thinks the traffic isn’t a problem. Finds it easy to get around
- Brian: Supports the idea of museum but is concerned about paying off the debt
- Paul and Trish support investment in cycle ways and have a ride every morning before dawn
- George and Dorothy: Suggests that our Elders may want housing in the city for convenience and encourages us all to view the world through Elders eyes.
- George and Dorothy: Think a Museum would be great for kids and advises us not to worry about rates.
- Athel: Suggests our footpaths should be wider. And is concerned that so much money has been spent talking about a ship slipway and so far we have nothing to show for it
- Ted: Has found that sea lettuce left in the sun to dry crushes down to powder and is good for your garden
- Dan: Supports the construction of a museum and would love to see the Matapihi bridge lit up at night with coloured lights
- Brian and Robin: Want downward pressure on rates
- Rory: Unhappy with our worsening traffic
- Pamela: Concerned about pollution from wood smoke in Winter
- Jeff: Thinks the councils should be amalgamated
- Joan: Would like more seating around the city
- Bryce: Was pleasantly surprised to see the Eastern Arterial Link completed ahead of time, below budget and before it was needed
- Jo: Concerned that ever-increasing rent prices will make it harder for her to stay in the home she loves
- Murray: Is not concerned with debt. It’s a financial instrument. Also wonders what’s the point of the tidal steps?
- Pam: Wonders why we should spend so much money on central city council building. Thinks we should invest in things that bring more people into the city instead. Does not support museum
- Tasha: It’s time to move our focus from our elders (who will always be important) on to families and their needs in the city
- Alastair: Loves the express ways and cycling tracks (has just moved here from Christchurch)
- Eric & Wanda: Have lived 43 years in Brookfield and have watched their water rates go up a lot in that time
- Doug: Is moving to Putaruru tomorrow, just bought a descent house for half the price he would have to pay in Tauranga
- Clark: Urges us to supports the downtown development, it’s once in a lifetime opportunity to build something great
- Mike: Disappointed in losing the slipway a few years ago
- Kevin: Wants to see things shaken up at council. Wants to see progress. Believes the secret is travel to get ideas from other cities
- Garth: Supports more diversity in the next council
- Brian: Doesn’t approve of the $8k that was spent on speed humps in Bethlehem
- Faye and Roger: Want to see downward pressure on rates, but otherwise very happy
- Irene: Doesn’t want any change to recycling and waste that wouldn’t suit small households like hers. Supports the idea of the university campus bringing students and vibrancy to city centre
- Jill: Does not support flouride being added to our water
- Maree: Thinks the traffic is great here. Just moved from Auckland
- Paul: Upset council is building self-serving building, thinks it’s empire building
- Mary: Her dad loved ships, in the 60’s he’d take the whole family down to the docks when ships were in port and take a sailor home for dinner in exchange for exploring the shop from top to bottom
- Mary: Would like more seating. She suggests they could all be paid for by making them memorial seats to mark the passing of family members
- Jacky: Runs a business in town and is not impressed with how the city centre appears to be dying whilst The Mount and Papamoa are bustling with activity
- Jenny: Has seen 3 other proposals to revitalise the centre in the last 10 – 20 years, has seen them fall short of their ambition to “revitalise the city” and is astounded by the proposed price tag for this one
- Jenny: Would like to see more indoor sporting venues in the pipeline because ASB Arena is getting full
- Maura: Grew up at the Marae across the road in the 40’s and remembers playing basketball there. She has many family members buried in the cemetery at Motuopae island a few metres away in Judea
- Norman: Suggests we are focusing too much on City Centre. He suggests we consider placing the university campus at Windermere instead. He is disappointed that TrustPower’s 500 staff doesn’t seem to have added much economic activity and has only filled the few remaining carparks
- Sam: Has been commuting daily from Whakatane for 18 months until he just moved in with his partner in Bellevue recently
- James: Has heard that China based companies may be taking an interest in delivering major NZ infrastructure projects at much cheaper rates but worries that those funds will get siphoned out of NZ
- Brian: Wants to ensure we retain our green spaces as they come under increasing pressure from the growing population
- Joelle: Just got to Tauranga after spending 5 years working in Dubai. She is currently looking for marketing work
- Anne and Basil: Have 10 sheep and chickens on their property in Bellevue in which they have lived for 40 years. Basil is concerned that the proposed subdivision at Te Tumu (Papamoa East) has been a flood plain for hundreds/thousands of years
- Brian: Proposes we use the tunnel digging machine from Auckland and dig a tunnel for trucks under the Kaimais to get them off the road
- Paul: Is disappointed that no one has taken responsibility for an eye-sore across the road from his house where a retaining wall collapsed 4 years ago. The foot path is still buried and the road narrowed
- Sissy: Concerned that the slow and costly building consent process may cause people to alter their homes without approval and cause headaches down the line
- Dean: Is appalled that the proposed redevelopment of a retirement village next door to him breaks several Resource Management Act rules but is likely to be given the go-ahead
- Bob: Has a protected tree on his property but the roots are messing up the road and footpath and the tree is growing closer to the power lines
- Alison: Loves living in Tauranga!
- Bruce and Charlotte: Support cycle trails all over the city
- Faye: Supports training and employment for young people
- Karena: Supports arts and culture like library, performing arts center
- Barbara and George: Tried to get a park in town the other day but had to come home because they couldn’t find one!
- Christine: Has says “this city is going great, let’s keep it up!”
- Gary: Would like to see additions to our outdoor spaces like down at the waterfront in the CBD and the addition of attractions such as a museum
- Winslet: Wants more big sports events and cycle ways and her mum wants a Tauranga museum like most big cities have
- Betty: Wants to ensure we look after our waterways. And would like more shade from trees on her walks down at The Mount
- Jenny: (91 years old) sees car after car with 1 person in it. She says that’s a shame when we have such a good bus service full of friendly people to talk to
- Fay: Has lived in Matua for 50 years and helped preserve the walkways in the Salt Marsh through her work with Forest and Bird
- Robyn: Would like to see more family options down on The Strand, not just bar after bar
- Lance: Is an electrician so he’s driving all day, the traffic can get heavy but each roading improvement makes a difference
- Sarah: and her family love our beaches
- Stephen and Josh: Love public spaces done well like a walkway/cycle right around the Salt Marsh to Ferguson Park and a few tweaks to Memorial Park to attract people all year round
- Jay: Would like to see more big businesses into the CBD, and thinks it’s great seeing the bigger buildings going up. Anything that is progressive and future building
- Ian: Would like to see more attention on clearing weeds from intersections and traffic islands to ensure they look their best
- Bruce: Wants to ensure that Flouride is kept out of our drinking water. He is a retired Industrial Instrumentation Technician and knows what’s involved when metering the dosage of an additive
- Ana: Would love to see outdoor exercise equipment for stretching down at Ferguson Park
- Michelle: Has a niece with complex needs and the system is failing to care for her adequately. She wishes more could be done
- Mark: Would like more transparency around the toll roads and when they will be paid off and where the money is going
- Robita: Would love to see enhanced walkways and family friendly activities around
- The Hays family: Loves Tauranga! It’s the place to be. They’d love to see our public parks and facilities expanded with more activities
- Stuart: Would like to see the RallyCross and other motorsport events better supported by locals next time, and would like to see The Domain upgraded to become a rugby stadium
- Joan and Brian: Want to ensure the council spends wisely on new projects
- Geoffrey: Wants people in council that will look long term, not just short term fixes
- Phil: Would love to see transport sorted out and a museum in place. Would be great if BayWave had a 50m pool to pull in people from all over the country for competitions
- TJ: Is studying Te Reo Maori this year and would like us all to pronounce Maori place names properly
- Logan: Loves the friendly people in Tauranga. He’s thinking about his future as he finishes Otumoetai College this year
- Phil: Thinks cycle ways in Tauranga has a great future and with investment is an excellent choice for kids getting to school, commuters and recreational cycling
- Leonard: Would like to see less 50cc scooters on the road and more e-bikes instead. Safer, enviro-friendly and cost effective
- Jeff: And his family just moved here in December and has been pleasantly surprised how this neighborhood feels more like family than strangers
- Jon and Helen: Would like to see affordable housing for young people so they can start on the property ladder and let’s get ahead of the homeless situation with shelters for women and men
- Wayne: Would like to see efforts made to free our beaches and sea of sea lettuce. Run-off of fertilizer from farms may be causing these blooms
- Liam: Would love to see a diving board down at the waterfront!
- Doug and Dorothy: Would like to see the council own up and take responsibility for its mistakes such as the leaky office building
- Brian: Has lived here in Heron Ave East for 33 years when it was a kiwifruit orchard, and built his own house on this spot
- Michael and Joyce: Are keen cyclists and would like to see the cycle trails connected together and would like us all to take greater care on shared paths, cyclists, walkers and dog owners alike
- Elizabeth: And her family moved into this house 30 years ago beside the Matua Salt Marsh
- Neil: Would like more transparency around the costings on large capital projects
- Rebecca and Ronda: Would like a cycle path to connect Memorial Park to the city to the bridge to the Mount! Plus a museum for rainy days
- Kate: Wants to see people valuing mangroves and the important role they play in our coastal environment
- Greg: Wants the council to ensure that the health and well being of its people always takes precedence over their business activities and aspirations
- Johnny Smith: Has lived in Matua for 37 years and has seen a lot change in that time. I’m the only council candidate who has ever knocked on his door
- Dan: Supports lighting of the Matapihi rail bridge, and also the museum, in time, if the costs don’t add too much to our debt and it is designed to be a real asset
- Wedge: Finds parking in the CBD and at The Mount difficult at times and wondered if the City to Mount ferry might come back one day
- Marion: Is full of praises for the Waipuna hospice who cares for her with outings and taking care of her home duties. She is 82 years old and has terminal cancer. She was given 2 weeks to live but that was 2 years ago. I guess we all have a clock ticking away somewhere but she says it does feel strange that the clock is running down and is beyond the control of her or any doctor
- Bruce: Wonders if we have enough fire stations in our new suburbs? And as congestion grows how do emergency vehicles get through?
- David and Jane: Would like some of us to let go of the quarter acre dream a bit (to reduce suburban sprawl) and embrace hi-rise living and all its benefits and economies
- Bruce and Joanna Elders: Have lived here since 1957 and I’m the first candidate to knock on their door
- Terri: Would like us to consider a local unused quarry as a rubbish tip instead of sending it to Hamilton, perhaps this would reduce the rates because of the cost savings
- Joanna: Loves to see the improvements that are being made to our walkways, especially the 9km of track and boardwalks around the estuary
- Sissi: Has a real heart for the elderly and feels their pain when the rates keep increasing. Imagine living In your family home for decades only to be forced out when it becomes unaffordable
- Tasha: Would like to see more family friendly interactive outdoor art installations for children and lets get people moving on our roads before our traffic ends up like Auckland
- Simon: Would like to see the Historic Village moved downtown or at least elements of it.
- Mark and Keta: Want to see more fun options for car enthusiasts like a drift track open to public
- Mary: Her Dad loved ships. 50 years ago he would take the family down to the docks and take the sailors they met back home for in exchange for being permitted to explore the ships from top to bottom.
- Mary: Would like more seating through-out the city. Surely more people would be willing to contribute the funds in exchange for dedicating the seat to a loved one with a brass plaque?
- Jacky: Thinks the city centre is dying
- Jenny: Notes this is the 4th time she’s seen plans for redeveloping the city centre. The clean out in council last time hasn’t produced much change. She can’t believe $80M price tag
- Jenny: Would like to see more sporting venues because ASB is getting full
- Ian: Thinks the current roading layout makes it hard to get from suburb to suburb
- John: Is upset about building consent process, too many steps, takes too long, costs too much
- Tom: Thinks the Art Gallery and Museum should be funded by individuals that like these places, not rate payers
- Ross: Unhappy with the parking situation in the city centre. He’s not interested in taking the bus (even though it’s right outside his house)
- Cushla and Sean: Would like to see shadesails hung above playgrounds, and a monorail linking the city with the suburbs
- Pam: Wonders how a new civic building could cost so much. Surely something else would do a better job at brining more people into the city? She does not support a museum
- Tasha: Would like the council to put more attention into the family friendliness of a city and it seems that our elders are so expert at having their say that the attention is on them instead
- Alastair: Recently moved here from Christchurch. He loves our express ways and cycling tracks
- Matt and Kaley: Love living here
- Eric & Wanda: Have lived 43 years in Brookfield and have watched their water rates go up and up
- Clark: Supports downtown development, it’s once in a lifetime opportunity to build something great
- Kevin: Wants to see things shaken up at council. Wants to see progress. Believes the secret is travelling widely and extracting the best ideas from other cities
- Garth: Would like to see greater diversity on council
- Brian: Wonders what $8k of speed humps in Bethlehem has achieved
- Faye + Roger: Would like downward pressure on rates
- Irene: Doesn’t want any change to recycling and waste that wouldn’t suit small households. Supports the idea of the university campus bringing students and vibrancy to city centre
- Jill: Following a career in the health profression is now anti-flouridisation and anti-vaccination. She has suprised herself by changing her mind on these issues
- Maree: Thinks the traffic is great here. Just moved from Auckland
- Alan: Runs his chiropractic clinic from home 20 hours a week. Loves living here
- Paul: Upset council is building self-serving building, thinks it’s empire building
- Jocelyn: Own a pool installation company and is disappointed with delays with council consents on new pools. It used to be 8 days, now it’s 19 days even before some questions come back
- Brian: Doesn’t want the council building a new building as a “monument to their grandure”. Doesn’t support museum either.
- Brian: Doesn’t support a new council building
- David: Doesn’t support a Museum it it’s just to be filled with dusty relics. Thinks that perhaps amalgamation of the councils would be good. Is excited by construction of a university campus in city centre
- Ron: Thinks a new council building should stay in the CBD
- Graham + Pamela: Difficult to get into mobility parking spots in town
- Helen + David: Thinks that The Strand should have more variety than just restaurants. The price tag on the new civic buildings was a shock
- Jim: Unhappy with the money wasted on consulting over the Museum over the years. Most concerned with value for money and efficiency from council
- Roger + Penny: Not impressed with lack of vibrancy in CBD
- Alan: Sees half empty buses all the time and it doesn’t seem that the council listens to submissions from the public
- Terry: Been frustrated with council lately piling on the compliance red tape for the model railway at Memorial Park
- Karen: Interested in sustainability and the natural environment, with congestion and transportation. Doesn’t expect rates to ever come down but is most concerned with value for money
- Gary + Wendy: Frustrated by building consent process. So expensive and slow
- Ian and Irene: Generally happy with our city, but Ian doesn’t think council are good communicators. Doesn’t feel informed
- Evlen: Concerned that the urban sprawl is using up our best farmland. Wonders where our food will be grown as the population grows
- Brian: Thinks the targeted rates for The Lakes (set to about $150/year) is a little unfair and doesn’t feel like he gets value for money for this additional line on his growing rates bill every year
- Jack: Was annoyed during a recent trip to the movies with his grandkids by having to park 7 blocks away in 7th Ave
- Graham and Esme: Getting their NZ citizenship shortly (from South Africa). They have lived her over 4 years already and now have lots of family nearby too
- Corrigan: It’s important to him that politicians keep their word
- Beryl: Has been living in Pyes Pa for 48 years when it was farmland all around
- Kevin: Has had 120 foster kids in his home over the years!
- Joyce: Worked in the 1st Ave nursery in the 1970s. The seedlings she raised are now huge trees here in Gate Pa but many are now being cleared for new houses
- Steven + Margaret: Think that any new constructions projects in the CBD should be carried out by locals. Frustrated that museum is taking so long to get off the ground
- Dennis: Wants the Greerton pedestrian crossing signalised so that cars are not held up so much during peak times
- Pete + Josie: Lived here 50 years. Happy with council but also think the Greerton pedestrian crossing should be signalised
- Leonie: Love this city and also think the Greerton pedestrian crossing should be signalised
- Peter: Is confused how congestion on our roads can get steadily worse, that parking in the CBD parking can get more difficult, and yet there are so many empty retail spaces in town
Interviews With Passionate Taurangians
Dr Ian McLean On The Environment And Cycling
Here are my issues:
- Adaptation to global warming
- Primarily sea level rise, but really it is the increasing frequency of extreme weather events that we need to respond to.
- The cyclones are coming.
- I believe that ultimately there will be some forced retreat from the Mount/Papamoa ocean frontage.
- Realistically, much of the Mount and Papamoa strip are likely to be abandoned by the end of the century.
- The city centre also is likely to be forced to retreat to higher ground – as it already is, although for economic reasons.
- The council should be doing the same, given the current investment in council infrastructure.
- Food resilience
- We need to diversify our local food production systems.
- We can’t live on avocados and kiwifruit.
- Community resilience
- The social aspects of global warming must not be ignored.
- Simplified transportation technology: bicycles
- The most obvious is building a functional network of safe cycle paths.
- Transportation systems need to be made more resilient generally.
- Living now in the most bike-centric city in the world (Netherlands), I am really beginning to understand how to make bikes work. By the way, the public transport system here is not much better than in Tauranga, whereas bikes really do work.
- While there needs to be a reliable PT system for Tauranga, I now believe that bikes should be the highest priority.
- We need to get half the cars off the road as the first priority, and public transport will not achieve that.
- Bikes have already achieved it in Groningen, where >60% of commuter trips are by bike and 99% of people have a bike (and use them almost every day).
- Trains are not viable due to the capital cost (including in land).
- There will always be cars, and 1-way roads can deal with a lot of the immediate issues that are causing traffic problems.
- But it will be bikes that really achieve that.
- Electric bikes mean that most of the arguments against bikes (hills, sweating, etc) are no longer relevant.
- Lately I have been watching people hauling their kids to school on bikes when it is snowing (photos on my facebook page).
- The weather argument against is also nonsense.
- It is safe biking infrastructure, and disincentives for cars, that achieve a bike-centric city.
- But the process of change began here in the 1970’s, and required some very determined governance.
- It will take a generation.
- Economic Growth
- There is an obsession with “growing the economy” and creating jobs (so that Tauranga can grow too).
- This has to stop.
- The city needs harder planning boundaries, incentives to optimise use of current infrastructure, increased residency in the city centre, and a determined leadership that will genuinely take a long-term view rather than refusing to do so due to the endless compromises caused by political expediency and a 3-year planning horizon.
- The obsession with growth is not sustainable and must end.
- What is the optimum size of Tauranga CIty?
- Actually, I suspect we may have already passed it, given the issues that are going to arise over the next 50 years.
– Ian McLean 31 Jan 2019
Dave Macfarlane on Public Transport And City Centre
Here are a few ideas for the 30 year plan to help revitalize the CBD:
- The entire length of Cameron Rd and up Pyes Pa rd with possibly a side connector to The Lakes development
- The track could be installed in the existing median strip on Cameron Rd.
- I am all for any public transport and cycle/walk ways and connections
- Light Rail
- With park-and-rides at Te Puke, Domain Rd, BayPark Stadium, Matapihi to CBD and Apata / Omokoroa / Matua / Otumoetai to CBD
- Water Taxi
- Connecting downtown and the Mount at least every 30 minutes
- Piers at the Waterfront
- The waterfront needs a number of Piers (not just Wharf St)
- With Boutique retail, restaurants, cafes, along with a small pleasure boat marina
- The anchor would be an iconic Hotel in the shape of a Sail out in the water with potentially residential and office accommodation combined
- All this would give people a real reason to come back to the CBD.
- Extensive parking could be provided under the existing reclamation as it is in many other cities around the world.
- Possibly a sandy beach, a place for kids to go fishing, and underwater glass viewing box
- And to finish it all off, a world class light, water and music display that plays every half hour at night out in the water
- Uptown/Downtown Covered Walkway
- A linkage with uptown and downtown by way of a covered walkway from the council site by the IRD
- Elevated over the top of the Strand Extension and Railway and down onto the reclamation
- Downtown Master Plan
- Downtown Tauranga to provide a master plan of what the downtown could look like as well put pressure on landlords to spruce up their buildings
- One-Way Road
- Turn Devonport Rd from Elizabeth St to the Strand into a one way system
- And beautify it with more plantings, softer areas, some covered areas for seating and entertainment.
- Make this a meandering rather than a straight rd.
- Open Red Square back up to one way traffic and perhaps only have service vehicles able to drive on the Strand?
- Green Space
- It would be great to have a village green connection half way up Devonport Rd and Willow St
– Dave Macfarlane (25 Apr 2016)
Thoje Hood On Fixing The Broken Funding Model
The current funding model for community groups is broken. So many community groups have to scrape funds together from 10+ different funders every year just to survive.
If they were “Social Enterprise’s” instead they could get 3 years of funding and generate a strategy, momentum and a revenue generation model.
This way, the funding they used to get can be put towards the next enterprise instead.
A lack of investment/attention (eg in Arts & Culture) creates a downward spiral. We lose the talent because the art funders/creatives go to Auckland. So we lose capability for building for the artists. So we lose the art and those passionate and invested in improving it.
I propose this process instead:
- The Council creates “Superhubs”
- Environmental (eg EnviroHub)
- Arts & Culture (eg Creative Tauranga)
- Tourism (eg Tourism BOP)
- Hospitality (close connection with Tourism is essential)
- Sports (eg Sports BOP)
- Council funds the super hubs operations
- The superhubs create a project
- The projects get funding from funders and private investors
- Funders like: TECT, BayTrust, Acorn
- They are all operating in isolation. Connect them
- The funders are proud of their long lists of organisations they have funded, but they need a clearer vision for the city. They need to think longer term: 50 years+.
- This slows your thinking down.
- Things are less urgent, and you can focus on the most important tasks instead
- From private investors / groups
- Financial pitch doesn’t work on them “Give us $1 to get back $2”
- Better: “Give us $1 and you’ll be helping to change the world”
- “Ok, I’m in!”
- Financial pitch doesn’t work on them “Give us $1 to get back $2”
- Attract people driven by purpose, not the return
- Eg pitch to Property Investors Group and explain how the project feeds into the vision of the city – they are more likely to be interested
- Funders like: TECT, BayTrust, Acorn
- Mobilise volunteers to help with the projects
- How much easier could we make it for people to contribute?
- Eg if someone has an interest in volunteering to plant trees, how easy could we make it for them to find projects to join?
– Thoje Hood (24 Mar 2016)
Ciska Vogelzang On Amenities
Personally the building of a museum is a must for me, safe cycle ways connecting Waihi beach to Papamoa at least, and our city centre needs to be developed again!
I’d say be bold make it into something interesting and worthwhile to live in, work in, and visit.
I’m totally in favour of making the Domain into a decent rugby stadium, and I am not even a rugby fan!
– Ciska Vogelzang (Thu 24 Mar 2016)
Jesse Archer On Transport
My ideas for improvement for Tauranga are about transport.
To reduce congestion, we need to reduce single person journeys and make public transport convenient for commuters.
Here are my ideas on how:
- Make buses free. Increase the frequency to every 10 minutes from the suburbs.
- Instead of adding more car lanes to roads (such as Turret Road from Welcome Bay), add a bus/cycling lane instead. The people in the cars can watch the buses and cycles zip past them and that will motivate them to ride the bus tomorrow instead
- Impose a toll on cars coming into the city centre (like London) $5? $10? This discourages car use and creates funds to improve public transport
- Double/triple motorcycle parking availability. They are often full. Getting a car off the road should be encouraged
– Jesse Archer (Tue 8 Mar 2016)
Timothy Allan On Amenities
I wish we had facilities like Christchurch like:
- Antarctic Centre
- Botanical Gardens
- Margaret Mahy Playground
We have to search for things that will resonate with people and are connected to our region.
Sheldons vision for a connected Tauranga is exactly what we need.
– Timothy Allan (Mon 14 Mar 2016)
Paul Hansen On Sport Venues
The BayPark speedway has it’s place. It’s a great venue for stockcars. But is it a stadium suitable for rugby, league, or football? I don’t think so.
The new Bay Oval is a brilliant facility and is perfect for cricket. The Bay oval is one that the region can be very proud of – and is one of the best facilities for cricket in NZ.
But imagine a 15,000 person purpose built stadium at The Domain in town, similar to what Hamilton has.
We could restrict the use to rectangular sports to get spectators closer, fostering a more intimate atmosphere. Sports like rugby, league, football.
It could be used for concerts at night, festivals on the weekends, and conferences and meetings during the day.
That close to the CBD the people can flow into the cafes and restaurants in town.