We’re making changes to our streets so more people of all ages and abilities can be less dependent on cars and have more choice in how they get around now and in the future.

Wellington is growing. About 50,000 to 80,000 more of us will be living here in 30 years’ time. To prepare for that, we’re working with the community to plan where more people will live, and how we can get around more sustainably in a rapidly changing world.

This growth, plus environmental and health benefits, are the key reasons we need to change and more fairly share the public space in and around our roads.

How we can all make a difference and reduce emissions

This city declared a climate change emergency in 2019, and committed to being a zero carbon capital (net zero emissions) by 2050.

Making more trips by public transport, on foot, by bike, scooter or other sustainable modes is something the vast majority of us can do to help make a difference.

Road vehicle travel makes up 35 percent of Wellington’s emissions so changing the way we move some or all of the time is a practical thing we can do that’s good for the planet, the city - and our health.

Other great reasons to consider walking or riding 

Incorporating exercise into the daily commute is one of the most effective ways we can make enduring improvements to physical activity levels, and improve our health and well-being.

Regularly walking, running or biking, reduces the risk of a range of health issues, from heart disease and depression to type-two diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and obesity.

University of Otago research has shown that New Zealanders who walk or bike to their main activity each day have a 76 percent higher chance of achieving the Ministry of Health physical activity guidelines than those who drive cars.

For busy people, it can be the perfect way to get places and exercise at the same time.

Transport costs are typically the third highest household expense after housing and food, so walking, running or biking some or all the way to work can be a good way to cut costs. With less chance of getting stuck in traffic, it’s also a great way to know exactly how long your daily commute will take.

By making bike and walking routes safer, we are making it possible for more children, students, older people and those on limited incomes to get places independently, ride if they want to, and have access to these benefits. 

How change is happening

The Council is making changes to our streets in a number of ways. In the central city, and on key public transport routes, we’re doing it in partnership with Greater Wellington Regional Council and Waka Kotahi through the Let's Get Wellington Moving programme - a major plan to deliver a transport system that moves more people, goods and services reliably, with fewer vehicles.

Making it safer, easier and possible for more people of all ages and abilities to make some trips by bike is part of that programme, and fits perfectly with our aim to make Wellington City an even more sustainable and attractive place to live and visit.

The 2018 Census showed just over 19 percent of Wellington City residents commute on foot. This is a significantly higher percentage than any of the other big cities, and compares with 5.5 percent nationwide.

The numbers biking is also on the increase. Four percent now bike to work, double the nationwide average, and the second highest of the big cities after Christchurch which has 5.6 percent.

About 80,000 Wellingtonians live within a 15-minute bike ride of the central city – so with better bike routes and connections, the potential for a lot more people of all ages and abilities to be making some trips by bike is huge.

Find out more about:

How we are planning for growth.

Te Atakura - our plan to be a zero carbon capital.

How you can benefit from making more trips on foot or by bike.


Cycling masterplan and framework

Find out about our plan, approach and strategic rationale for developing a cycle network in Wellington.

Cycling master plan and framework