WellUrban

Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Consultarama


If you've looked at my sidebar recently, you'll have noticed that the "coming up" section's getting pretty full. That's entirely due to council consultations, from specific local changes to grand regional strategies. Here's a quick rundown.

Johnsonville and Newlands

The Newlands consultation is specific to the Shopping Centre and doesn't aim to do anything too ambitious (like, ooh, give it a sense of place or reduce dependence upon cars), but the Johnsonville plan is much more comprehensive. Johnsonville is taking on greater regional significance as the northern end of the dense "urban spine" concept that the city council is trying to develop, and will also have to act as an urban focus for the sprawling and ill-defined northern suburbs.

Not being a regular habitué of J'ville, I've been reluctant to comment on the plan in too much detail, but it looks well thought out and hits all the right urban design buttons (density, transit-oriented development, walkability, sense of place). Much of the success of the plan looks to be in the hands of the mall owners, though, as this will have to be converted from a clichéd, inward-focussed, car-dominated mall typology into something that defines and enlivens real public space. Good luck!

Bus Shelter Consent Application

This sounds like a triviality, but this is actually a single application for over a hundred shelters on six suburban routes. It's about the only measurable physical contribution to public transport infrastructure that the council has committed to in its long term plan, and by 2017 it aims to have a shelter at every city-bound stop. That should make things a bit more pleasant for commuters in the mornings, but maybe they won't be quite so happy with those "Adshel" shelters that make it hard to see the bus but very, very easy to see a great big ad.

Draft Otari-Wilton's Bush Management Plan Consultation

The management of native bush reserves is not exactly my specialist subject, but for those of you with a keen interest in one of Wellington's greatest natural assets, you've got until the end of January to look through nearly 80 pages of plans, strategies and maps and have your say.

Frank Kitts Park Design Brief

I wrote about this last week, though you might also be interested to read the article from today's Capital Times saying that the Chinese Garden Society welcome the move. What the article doesn't say is that they preferred the Frank Kitts site from the start.

Wellington Regional Strategy

See my post from last week.

Central Area Review


This is a big and complex issue that could affect the shape of our city for generations. I've written a bit about it before, and while more details have become available since then, that discussion should still be useful. The council seem to be going out of their way to make sure you know about it, with a "roadshow" (or should that be "streetshow"?) popping up at various inner city locations until the end of next week. Some will be glad for this opportunity to discuss the proposed changes with council offices, while some might feel a little cynical at the thought that after two years of "working with property owners, developers and other key groups and organisations" those of us who merely live here finally get to have some input.

2 Comments:

At 6:49 PM, November 01, 2006, Blogger Maximus said...

Bus Shelters - seems like the Council are keen to consult widely with the public now. (NB: Kerry says Consult is the not the right word - it should be "Inform" or some such.... - some say it should be "Insult", not consult)....

Anyway - as far as i understand the "utilities" do not have to apply for permission to site anything on public land - ie telephone boxes (remember them? vanishing fast), letter boxes (that's why those silly abandoned blue ones are still there), and manholes can be put anywhere in the public domain without question.

I'd always thought that Bus Shelters were under the same rule - and indeed, i suspect they are, judging by an Adshel wind-break that has just arisen in Taranaki St outside Briscoes - which appears to have taken over most of the pavement. But Adshel provide them free of charge, as they collect the advertising and maintain them - ie clena them, and replace the frequently broken glass....

Which is why it is all the more surprising that they are asking permission to install these new ones. Remember, they may well be nice and shiny - but are they replacing the old weatherboard ones from the 1940s? Some of those are design classics! Also, the new ones are essentially large lit billboards with a bus shelter attached.

There is NO such thing as a free lunch....

 
At 12:10 PM, November 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, these are not technically "bus shelters" but more a case of "billboards with seats", they cost the coucil nothing, with the ad company being totally responsible for the upkeep,

I am in two minds, yes they will improve the opinion of public transport,esp. if you do not have to wait in the rain, although they have an open front and rain in Wellington is hardly vertical, at least the previous WCC boxes had an enclosed portion to huddle in.

but, they should not be put on standard footpaths where they will restrict the ability to pass unimpeded, esp for prams, strollers, and mobility scooters,

 

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