Growing interest in city seminars

Gardening workshops are on offer to foster a sense of community among more than 30,000 Auckland city dwellers.

Charitable organisations Urban Pantry  run by Waterview resident Emily Harris  and Parnell Trust are hosting a month of courses at Pioneer Women's and Ellen Melville Hall on High St.

Growing Food in the City on May 10, 17 and 24 covers what food is easy to grow in small spaces and how to set up a balcony garden.

"We want to get it out there that you don't have to be in a big house to have a garden," Parnell Trust community services officer Clementine Sive says.

Anyone can take part including those who live in suburbs on the fringe of the city.

The classes are part of a drive by the trust to build community networks in the growing central business district neighbourhood.

InnerCityConnect offers several networking opportunities and classes including adult ballet, mums' meet-ups and language lessons.

A new round of classes start this month.

The programme was launched in February after an AUT University literature review last year.

The trust-commissioned review links fostering a sense of community with increases in general wellbeing and health of residents.

It's the first study of its kind that focuses on Auckland's city centre and a full report on its findings is due this month.

It looks at what makes up a community in the high-density area and examines who is living in the city.

"The InnerCityConnect workshops we're finding the most interesting are the English as a second language classes," CBD Residents' Advisory Group chairman Tim Coffey says.

The review states an increase in migrants and young families to the city centre means the needs of the area are different to the suburbs.

Mr Coffey says the programme is also "a brilliant use of a long under-used community hall".

"Ellen Melville Hall is non-denominational and we have different cultural groups to account for in the make-up of city dwellers."

Auckland City Harbour News