Totally Georgeous

Kia ora

The Dunedin City Council is currently undertaking construction work in the central city so that our much loved George Street can become ‘Totally Georgeous’.

Working with the community, we are creating more people-friendly spaces that reinforces the area’s status as the city’s preeminent shopping area.

This revitalisation includes new paving, street furniture, lighting and public art, so we will have a more vibrant central city.

We’re doing this in a way that celebrates Dunedin’s heritage, while also improving safety and accessibility in the area, and replacing our ageing water, wastewater and stormwater pipes – some of which date back to the late 1800s.

The DCC and its design team have worked closely with Kāi Tahu, through Aukaha, to integrate a Kāi Tahu cultural narrative and principles into the design. These will be expressed through elements such as the species used for new plantings, public art, paving design, and the use of whakataukī (proverbs) and te reo in the streetscape.

Retail Quarter upgrade works map from 6th May 2024

Retail Quarter upgrade works map


Our aims

To replace underground infrastructure at the end of its life ensuring the central city is more resilient and reducing the risks of infrastructure failure.

To improve the safety and accessibility of the central city’s public spaces for all road users, including pedestrians, drivers and cyclists.

To create compelling, attractive spaces where people want to spend time, helping to make central Dunedin a prosperous, vibrant, exciting, accessible and distinctive destination.


In simple terms, the project started in 2021 and will finish by April 2024. That sounds like a long time, but the project will be undertaken in sections to reduce disruption to businesses and traffic flows.

Key dates

April 2022 - November 2022

Farmers Block (now complete)

June 2022 - April 2023

Great King Street (now complete)

October 2022 - August 2023

Knox Row (now complete)

February 2023 - December 2023

Malls Block construction underway

May 2023 – April 2024

New Edinburgh Way Block construction underway

April 2023 – December 2023

St Andrew Street construction underway

May 2023 – December 2023

Hanover Street construction underway


Where are we at?

The upgraded Farmers block, between Moray Place and St Andrew Street, was completed in November 2022.

As well as improving the safety, accessibility and amenity of the area, the project has been driven by what needed to happen underground – the placement of old pipes and other infrastructure, some of it more than 100 years old.

The new design features a range of new trees and other plantings, including Tōtara, South Island kōwhai and Tawhai Rauriki Mountain Beech, which together create a “Green Street” full of life.

Construction in the Malls Block began in February 2023. For more information, please see the booklet below.

Work in Knox Row was completed in July 2023, well ahead of schedule, and just in time for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

Construction in the New Edinburgh Way Block began in May 2023. For more information, please see the booklet below.

Pītau Whakatipu – project office

Pītau Whakatipu – project office

Pītau Whakatipu is the project office for the Central City Retail Quarter, located at 125 George Street. The name was gift to the project by Mana Whenua and means young fern frond.

Pitau Whakatipu is a space for learning about the project, meeting to discuss issues and a space for future workshops and meetings.

Pop in and have a chat to the friendly team to find out more about the project.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a few questions our team gets frequently asked when they’re on the job, or out and about talking to businesses and residents. We thought we’d share some of them here, as well the answers, to help inform you about the project.

An important reason for this work is to replace old but essential water, wastewater and stormwater pipes – some of which date back to the late 1800s. It's a priority to ensure we are delivering water services that look after the health and well-being of the community.

At the same time, we want to create a more people-friendly space to reinforce the area’s status as the city’s preeminent shopping area, with new paving, street furniture, lighting and public art, so we have a more vibrant central city. We’ll be doing this in a way that celebrates Ōtepoti Dunedin’s heritage, while also improving safety and accessibility in the area!

We’re not! The design will see George Street become one-way southbound to traffic from the five-way intersection near Knox Church through to Moray Place. The speed limit will be reduced to 10 km/h to make the area safer for pedestrians, but cars and other vehicles will still be able to access George Street.

We’re not! The redeveloped George Street will have about the same number of car parks as it does now. We will, however, re-allocate and re-prioritise some of the existing spaces to give greater opportunity to people with mobility issues.

Construction is well underway, with work taking place in stages from late 2021 to mid-2024, although the final finish date will be dependent on a number of factors.

George Street’s Golden Block, between St Andrew St and Hanover Street, is next on the schedule. We expect construction on that block to take place between January and September 2023.

We need to balance the amount of work and the time to do it. If we are not working on multiple sites at the same time, it would take more than five years to complete the entire project.

While some work can and has been undertaken at night, not all can be achieved safely or efficiently. There are also more restrictions around noise at night, recognising people who live in the central city. The project construction workers are also people with families who appreciate spending time with them after a hard day’s work!

Mobility park permit holders use a range of vehicle types and may be passengers or drivers. To ensure a range of opportunities for those using mobility parks, they have been distributed in varying locations along the upgraded George Street. Due to the alignment of the street and distribution of parking, in the Farmers Block they have been located on the right hand side of the street, best serving drivers with mobility park permits. If you are looking for mobility parks allowing for unloading passengers directly onto the footpath, these can be found nearby in the next block of George Street (outside BNZ) and on Moray Place.