At heart, we are a group of people who care deeply about how we all live and move in Wellington.
We are driven by a belief that designing a city with our most vulnerable people and the environment in mind will benefit everyone. What's good for nature can also be what's good for people and communities. Win-win-win.
So what does our ideal city look like? Slower streets. More beautiful public space. Connected bike networks that are safe enough for anyone. Designated space for all users. Public transport so easy and cheap you can't resist it. Places that are joy to move and linger in. And yep, less space for cars.
The most important thing we are advocating for is to give people more choice. When the best choices are the easiest, people will change.
OUR VISION FOR WELLINGTON
Streets are safe and pleasant for everyone, no matter your age or abilities.
Reframe our thinking to focus on human needs, rather than only on specific modes of transport (most people get around in lots of ways).
Active and public transport are the easiest options, and offer the best journey experience for most people.
All transport decisions are in line with our obligations under the Paris Agreement, the Zero Carbon Act and Wellington city's Te Atakura - First to Zero.
People are given more choices, so the need to use large amounts of land for moving and storing private vehicles is reduced.
Designated space is created for all users, with safety of the most vulnerable (pedestrians and cyclists) and livability of our streets as the top priority.
A POST-COVID WORLD
How different our streets were during the lockdown. Neighbourhoods full of people walking. Kids playing on deserted roads and birdsong instead of traffic noise filling our ears.
Our air was cleaner and our streets more people-friendly than they have been in a very long time. There’s something appealing about that, and in the way we’ve acted together to avoid the human catastrophe we see elsewhere.
The parallels of our current situation to the climate crisis are vivid, and it is a sad irony that some of the actions we needed to take to meet that crisis – flying less, driving less, buying less – have come about in this untenable way.
Because we’re in a place none of us asked to be. Our lives have been turned upside-down and many people are facing extraordinary hardships. In this time of stress and uncertainty it can be hard to see a bright future.
Shutting down our economy is not the answer to building a cleaner future. But this is a good time to ask the question: what if we had everything we needed – work, recreation, school, shops – within a short walk or biking distance? What if we could have meaningful work, clean air and safe streets for our kids? What if all people could get around easily, whatever their circumstances?
As move back to lives with few restrictions these questions are more pressing than ever. Do we want to merely return to the old “normal” or do we create a better, more resilient city? A city that puts quality of life for all at its heart, and can stand up to the future challenges we all know are coming.
Connect Wellington would like to start this conversation now, because decisions are being made in the coming weeks and months that will shape all our futures for years.
We want our government to continue to lead as they have during this crisis – with heart, strength, attention to the evidence, and a commitment to doing what is right. Our local and regional councils could work this way too.
That means valuing human experience above growth, designing cities that nurture and connect us, and protecting and restoring the natural systems we rely on. And we want all levels of government to do this work with us, so we all feel part of the changes we can create together.
If we come out of this difficult time with greater clarity and vision for what is needed, then the hard times won’t have been for nothing. Let’s not waste this opportunity to learn and change for the better.