The WSP Global Cities Index is the first of its kind insight into how cities are preparing for a future shaped by tomorrows major urbanisation and growth.  
The index ranks 24 international cities on the basis of how they are planned, governed, serviced, designed and lived-in. The collection of work helps governments, councils and city-shapers to identify and respond to challenges and opportunities they will experience in the upcoming years - and beyond.


Our global team have drawn on our 43,000 engineers, planners, scientists and consultants to assess and evaluate key themes that collectively make-up a functioning, adaptive and future-ready cityscape. Each city was assessed using four themes, all of which were shaped around built environment and scale of livability.  Key metrics are applied on a one-to-ten scale (one = poor and 10= outstanding). 

The themes addressed are Places, Mobility, Technology and Urban Systems.  

The themes addressed are Places, Mobility, Technology and Urban Systems.  

Housing Infrastructure for Public Transit  Fixed Internet  Power Generation
Public Realm Logistics for Freight Connectivity  Fixed Internet: Speeds and Feeds Water Treatment and Distribution
Urban Green Space Global Connectivity Mobile Internet: Wfi, 5G, Narrowband, IoT Waste Management 
Social Infrastructure  Infrastructure for Pedestrians and Cycling Open Data  
Climate Change Built Form: Parking Provisions Information Data Security  
  Future Mobility Services  Planning and Policy  
  Future Mobility    

Additional qualitative assessments and bench marking were completed by WSP professionals, peer-reviewed and audited for legitimacy. This included:

POPULATION AND DEMOGRAPHY Population and growth rate, education, age, labour force, migration, household size
ECONOMY GDP, unemployment, household income
URBANISM AND DENSIFICATION Urban population and density per sq km
STABILITY Terrorism, crime, threat of civil unrest




Icons Banner Cities Index 2018 Auckland Score Infographic 2

Auckland placed 13th out of 24 international cities, sitting between Manchester, UK and Melbourne, Australia.  
We were expecting the Index to identify Auckland's mobility and land-use legacy issues. Evidently, these two themes received the lowest score, placing slightly above average. Place and Technology placed extremely well, championing in areas such as Climate Change, Social Infrastructure, Urban Green Space, Fixed Internet Speed and Information and Data Security.  

The highest scored metric amongst all four themes was Fixed Internet Speed (8.3 / 10). Auckland has almost complete coverage for fast internet connectivity across the city. The fibre rollout in Auckland is nearing completion and will enable most citizens to access fibre broadband in their home or business.  
Auckland received the lowest score for Logistics for Freight Productivity (4.3 / 10).  Global freight movements are expected to grow by 350 per cent by 2050, because of this. There will be e forced changes for logistic and operational management. Associated industries will also see change, such as technology,  security and fuel. 

Auckland joins Seoul, Sydney, Melbourne, Stockholm and London as a leader in long-term strategic planning. Forecasts predict that by 2040, Auckland will be home to more than one-third of our country’s population. City planning authorities are putting plans in place to ensure Auckland can cope with such growth. The Auckland Plan 2050 has four key directions to which councils and governments wish to thrive in. These include providing public spaces and places that are 'inclusive, accessible and contribute to urban living'; whilst improving housing availability. 

PLACES  7.2 / 10

Places Banner WSP Opus Cities Index Auckland Results for Places

Auckland scored above average for a number of place-related key metrics including Climate Change, Social Infrastructure, Urban Green Space and Public Realm. However, population growth, affordability and access are some of the reason behind our 'below global average' marks for housing.  

The Auckland Plan is the region’s long-term spatial plan and identifies the need to improve housing availability through several directions, including a quality urban form, accelerating construction and the provision of quality public spaces. The planning tool for this growth is the Auckland Unitary Plan, which guides how Auckland will grow and sets a direction for urban development and quality of growth. The Unitary Plan will increase the density of development in urban locations and major transport routes. 

Good public realm planning delivers more walkable streets, better cycling routes and more welcoming public spaces that bring life, activity and commerce to an area. Ensuring Auckland has these places makes it a safer, more sociable and enjoyable place for people to spend time in. Devised by the Auckland Council, the Auckland Design Manual was created to align with the 2012 Auckland Plan. The plan provides planning and design guidance in public and private areas.  

Auckland’s social infrastructure is already feeling the impact of population growth with big increases in school rolls and pressure on other community infrastructure including health providers and hospitals. For all that, Auckland scores well (7.5 / 10) in this area. The region has internationally recognised universities that are well-established in the city, as well as a number of polytechnics and private training establishments. 

Auckland has been proactive and highly transparent about planning for climate change. As a member of the C40 CitiesClimate Leadership Group, Auckland is committed to a 40% emissions reductions by 2040 (from 1990 levels). Auckland’s Low Carbon Strategic Action Plan lays out the pathway to achieve this.

MOBILITY 5.4 / 10

Mobility Banner

Auckland scored below average for a number of mobility key-metrics. These included Public Transport, Logistics and Freight Productivity, Global Connectivity and Future Mobility Technology.  We ranked slightly above average for Future Mobility Services plus Infrastructure for Pedestrians and Cycling.  

During the next 30 years, the city is projected to grow by up to a million people, representing 55% of New Zealand’s population growth in the next decade. This means Auckland has become increasingly congested, resulting in longer travel times and reduced journey time reliability.  

The Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) is a game-changer for Auckland commuters and the first step in easing congestion and allowing Auckland to move freely. Auckland has benefited from a sustained increase in funding for public transport in the last decade including electrification of the metro rail network, major investment in the bus system and, most recently, the $3.5bn City Rail Link – the largest transport infrastructure project in New Zealand. Collective efforts towards future mobility technology, services and public transport have increased the overall index score.  

Buses account for more than 70% of public transport use. The ATAP 2008 package includes $215 million of investment for the most critical bus routes across Auckland,  which will deliver operational savings through efficiencies and increased public use and fares. 
Walking journeys account for 14% of trips in Auckland. So far, walking improvements have typically been delivered as part of other investments including general street upgrades and safety programmes, shared spaces and CBD pedestrian crossing upgrades. 

The strategic directions for parking are set out in the Auckland Plan, the proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, the Regional Public Transport Plan and AT’s Strategic Themes. This includes the introduction of maximum car parking ratios in the central city and around town centres.  
Auckland Transport and the NZ Transport Agency have signed up to co-create a 10-year future transport strategy that includes a better intelligent transport system, introduction and use of mobility as a service and technology that supports ATOC, CCTV, analytics and predictive modelling.  
Road safety is a growing concern for Auckland. Many of the cities included in the Cities Index have initiated road-safety programVision Zero. Vision Zero is a multi-national road traffic safety project, initially started in Sweden. The project aims to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries involving traffic.  
Countries that have implemented Vision Zero include Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the USA. The New Zealand Transport Agency, along with Auckland Council, the New Zealand Ministry of Transport, New Zealand Police, ACC and district health boards have plans in place to adopt Vision Zero to New Zealand's roads. Once implemented Vision Zero is expected to cut fatalities and road trauma by up to 60%, saving over 200 lives over the next ten years.


TECHNOLOGY  8.0 / 10

Technology Banner Cities Index 2018 Auckland Score InfographicAuckland scored on-par or above average for our efforts in technology advancements. Auckland excelled in Fixed Internet Speed and Information and Data Security scored slightly above average for Connectivity and Infrastructure and Planning Policy and remained on par with international cities for Open Data and Mobile Internet Services.  

Auckland doesn’t have a standalone digital strategy, but the city is becoming increasingly prominent in the innovation and technology space through a combination of population density, availability of fibre and fast internet, and the number of private companies investing in digital technology and innovation.

Most properties can access ADSL, VDSL and, increasingly fibre. Mobile devices have quickly become an essential and ubiquitous tool for communications, content digestion and content creation.  

New Zealand has comprehensive privacy and data protection legislation. In addition, the Government Communications Security Bureau publishes the New Zealand Information Security Manual which includes minimum technical security standards for good system hygiene. This is publicly available. 


Power Banner Cities Index 2018 Auckland Score Infographic

Auckland scored just above average (5.2/10) for activity and action for urban systems. Ranking a global average for Power Generation and Distribution and Waste Management and below the global average for Water Treatment and Distribution.  

Power generation is largely from sustainable energy sources such as hydroelectric, geothermal, wind and to a lesser extent non-renewables sources such as gas and coal, with generation situated in remote locations. The city relies on national Transpower transmission system to transport power to Auckland. 
As Auckland grows, the pipe network will need to be expanded to meet the demands of growth without compromising on the delivery of reliable, safe and efficient water services. In 2016 the water network had the capacity to allow 45,000 new houses to connect and over the next 10 years, the network will need to provide for a further 195,000. 

The central part of Auckland is still served by a combined system of pipes transporting both wastewater and stormwater. In rain events, diluted wastewater is discharged directly into Auckland’s harbours. In other section of the network, where there are separate wastewater and stormwater pipes, stormwater and groundwater entering the wastewater network, causing wastewater to overflow during heavy rain. The frequency and volumes of overflows are likely to increase because of population growth and climate change. 

Auckland adopted a Waste Management and Minimisation Plan in 2012 that outlined an ambitious transformational programme with the aim of achieving zero waste to landfill by 2040. The multifaceted plan covers household waste and recycling, diversion of reusable material from landfill and identifying opportunities to reduce waste.

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