Some of these precincts, such as Upper Trafalgar Street, are readily identifiable, while others are still emerging. Each of these precincts will have their own unique character reinforced through the promotion of precinct plans, to ensure that each is fit for purpose, complementary, and well connected to the city centre as a whole.

While the Whakatū Nelson region has diverse centres that each serve their own communities, the heart of social, economic and cultural activity, is the city centre.

From the Marina, to the Maitai, to the Suter, a diverse array of experiences is on offer for workers, residents and visitors alike. However, to be successful, buildings, streets and public spaces cannot be viewed in isolation from one another, but rather must work together.

Te Ara ō Whakatū considers how these more defined precincts currently operate, and explores solutions to the challenges these areas may face as the population of the region continues to grow.

Several new and emerging areas are also developing as the workforce of the city expands, and new and innovative economic sectors grow. Solutions for these areas have also been considered, which include a broader range of high-quality accommodation, office and retail space, greater transportation options, and integrated opportunities for recreation.


  • Connect the dots

While the city centre is dotted with formal and informal precincts, connectivity to key destinations, attractions and activities within these precincts, is often missing.

Strengthening physical connectivity between these places, and the places where people want to be – work, home, school, retail, open space and recreation – either by foot, bicycle, public transport or other sustainable travel – is the first step towards powering the precincts.

  • Mix the uses

While no two precincts are alike, prosperous precincts often integrate a successful business sector, varied residential communities, quality retail, and engaging entertainment options. When these elements intersect, communities begin to establish, public life is high, ground floors are active, and connectivity with quality open space is prioritised. This diversity of offerings is what attracts users to invest, live, work, visit and linger.

  • Work smarter

As a smart little city, emerging and future developments must focus on delivering mutually beneficial outcomes for the developer, workers and residents, visitors, business owners, and the greater public. Early partnerships between Council and development agencies are a fundamental step to achieving this, as are partnerships with the existing business community.

These partnerships are one way in which better outcomes can be achieved that support the city’s existing economy, while also inviting new investment, new talent, and new skills, into the community.