Over the next few years, the Dunedin City Council is 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’ll be 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 for 20-26 March 2023
This map shows Retail Quarter upgrade traffic arrangements in place for the week starting Monday, 20 March 2023.
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 in 2024. That sounds like a long time, but the project will be undertaken in sections to reduce disruption to businesses and traffic flows.
Construction began at the end of 2021 on ‘enabling works’ in streets surrounding George Street to ensure that traffic can get around the city while the George Street works are taking place.
April 2022 - November 2022
Farmers Block (now complete)
June 2022 - April 2023
Great King Street construction underway
October 2022 - August 2023
Know Row construction underway
February 2023 - September 2023
Malls Block 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.
As of February 2023, underground infrastructure work on these blocks is nearing completion.
This will be followed by above-ground work, in sections, including re-sealing of the road and new footpaths.
Construction on underground infrastructure commences in the Malls Block in February 2023. For more information, please see the booklet below.
Work has commenced in the Knox Block on replacing underground water infrastructure. For more information, please see the booklet below.
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.