4. March 2024
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Behind the Façades

If you boil down the palette of Auckland’s central business district, you’ll pretty much end up with a lot of blue and green.

Pretty, hum? However, if you take a closer look, the shiny façade of Auckland begins to crumble.

Compared to 2016, when we’ve seen Bew Zealand biggest city for the last time, a lot of things went straight to the wrong direction. Many shops and restaurants have been shut down, there is more poverty, more crime and it all fits the narrative that Auckland is still lagging behind its pre-pandemic lifestyle, especially in the CBD.

Let’s take “The Strand Arcade” for example, which is right in the heart of the city centre. Every empty sign you see here indicates a store that is now for lease and even underneath this massive shopping mall was a food court once that also disappeared during Covid and never came back.

Sad to remember I took the same picture 8 years ago. #neverforget

On the other side, we’ve seen a lot of construction sites and new buildings sparking hope for a brighter future. And whereas the upper city centre is still lagging behind, the Auckland waterfront seems to be as thriving as never before.

That being said, I really can’t tell how the CBD will look like in the next decade. But right now, there is a gray cloud casting a shadow on the colorful city centre.

Fred Vanterra

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