The first step was to talk to locals. We wanted to learn about the things that they felt make it difficult to get around, especially by walking and cycling. This happened between 2012 and 2014 where a community participatory design process led by the Local Board (Māngere-Ōtāhuhu Local Board) together with a community reference group, and the research team was carried out. Changes to the design of the streets were discussed with the community. This was done through flyers, information sessions, community events, and booths held at the Saturday Markets in 2013 and 2014. The aim was to understand local people’s concerns and aspirations.
People from Māngere talked about what changes were needed and how they should look. The perspectives of a range of people were heard, including kids, mana whenua, people with disabilities, shop keepers, and other local residents. This was important for the design process because after all, the Māngere community are the experts on their neighbourhood – they know their streets better than anyone.
These discussions led to the creation of seven design principles which were followed to inform the design concepts used throughout the project.