Transport and land use integration at the City Rail Link’s Mount Eden Station

Auckland’s City Rail Link is described as “Auckland’s most transformational place-shaping project” because it will make major changes to the way people live and travel in the city.

Data & Decisions

Long-term planning

2 min read

Photography City Rail Link

Auckland’s City Rail Link is described as “Auckland’s most transformational place-shaping project” because it will make major changes to the way people live and travel in the city.207 It will double the number of Aucklanders who live within 30 minutes travel of the central city, especially in West Auckland.208 This will encourage the development of more homes near rail stations.

There’s an opportunity for significant redevelopment in a 112-hectare area around the new Mount Eden station, which will be only a six minute ride from the city centre.209,210 City Rail Link Limited owns 3.2 hectares of land close to the station, of which most will be available for development once the station has been built (see Figure 23).

Even without the City Rail Link, Mount Eden is an area that is attractive to property developers. However, it’s important to make sure that infrastructure, planning rules and development work together to get the best results. For instance, insufficient water infrastructure and rules protecting views or preventing the demolition of older buildings could limit the number of homes that could be built. One study estimated that the demand for housing in the project area was 5 to 12 times higher than the amount of development space that could be supplied without changing planning rules.211 Unless planning rules are made more flexible and enabling of higher density housing, there is the possibility that the development could result in greater housing unaffordability in the future.

Lessons from the Mount Eden precinct development should inform development around other transit stations. There is a need to:

  • Establish outcomes, expectations and mandates as early as possible.
  • Ensure there’s an agreed understanding of how transit infrastructure, homes and other development can be designed to work together.
  • Provide a planning framework that allows for flexibility and change.
  • Better coordinate the funding and delivery of infrastructure.

Figure 23: Existing aspiration is a fraction of estimated demand in station catchment

Source: Adapted from City Rail Link (2020)

Source: Adapted from City Rail Link (2020)

Note: The project precinct unconstrained scenario relates to the project catchment area and excludes areas within the station catchment but outside the City Rail Link project area. The full catchment scenario includes a wider assessment of the area that will benefit from the new stations. The baseline in Panel A represents the level of growth assumed in the land use model. Projected demand in each scenario is calculated using the empirical city-wide relationship between land values and density, incorporating the additional value of the City Rail Link. Planning rules were assumed to be fully enabling of demand.