Taupo Urban Commercial and Industrial Structure Plan
The Taupo Urban Commercial and Industrial Structure Plan details a vision for future planning of the Taupo town centre and new industrial areas. The plan is a document prepared under the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA).
The plan gives direction over the next 20 years or so in the Implementation section. Projects identified in the Implementation section have been given a priority, however the detailed planning and financial commitment will be programmed through the Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) process. The exact timing of the different implementation projects will change as funding permits, however it is critical that there is an overall plan to ensure that the different projects are undertaken in an integrated manner.
Completion of the East Taupo Arterial (ETA) has removed heavy traffic from town. This has the potential to create an economic challenge with less overall traffic passing through the town centre. However, it also allows for improved amenity along the lakefront and through the town centre and opportunities to better connect the commercial areas with the lake, river and Tongariro Domain. At present Tongariro Street acts as a barrier between the commercial area and the domain. Similarly, Lake Terrace cuts between the town centre and the lakefront. Addressing these connections is a critical part of the plan's direction. The redevelopment of the Roberts Street area will be a crucial part of this overall reconnection. An attractive meeting and entertainment place connected to the lake will create a destination attracting and keeping people in the town centre.
Communities need to have vibrant, attractive, liveable places to attract a skilled workforce. Taupo is blessed with outstanding natural assets but these need to be balanced with a quality urban environment. Good community infrastructure along with quality commercial activity all contribute to what is sometimes referred to as the look and feel of the community. This balance of natural assets and a quality town centre is important when it comes to attracting permanent residents and encouraging visitors to stay longer in Taupo.
The streets and lanes that connect the town centre provide the places where people meet to do business and enjoy the atmosphere of the town centre. Turning them into quality places is a critical part of attracting people to spend time in the town centre with the associated social and economic benefits. Similarly, providing community spaces is an important element in a quality town centre. However, simply providing parks, squares and plazas is not enough - they need to be well designed and complemented by a mix of activities that will attract all sorts of people to use them. There is no point providing a beautifully landscaped square if there is no surrounding activity to attract people and activate the space.