Congrats to Jesse Matthews and Matt Lee for their winning entry in the aBc competition, which, as the judges said, "offers a visionary plan for Wellington over a 30 year timeframe, which uses an investment in high frequency public transport to direct urban growth. It placed a strong emphasis on public space, and broadening the structure and density of the CBD to Te Aro and other important town centres." Advanced transit systems such as light rail (and occasionally monorails) featured in most of the entries, as far as I could tell. An amazing amount of effort went into many of the entries, and the exhibition is well worth checking out (in the State Insurance Building atrium until next Friday). The other winners have been posted here.
If you're up the government end of town, one exhibition you can see while enjoying the sun is Capital Centre: Look Again. At the basic level, it's just a simple set of posters with images and historical descriptions of significant government buildings, but by closing off the corner of Aitken and Molesworth streets and setting the exhibition on a raised platform accessed via grassy slopes or steel stairs, the designers have given it a point of difference. Those thin Cor-Ten steel uprights could get a bit dramatic in a proper northerly, though!
But while it's both sunny and (relatively) calm, the space currently known as Wharf Plaza looks like the place to be. I popped down at lunchtime to eat a sandwich, and lots of other people had the same idea.
The new benches, while lacking in lumbar support, allow people to sit in a variety of configurations, and the parallel rows of lights and pohutukawa provide some linearity and definition to a space that might otherwise have rather vague proportions. This is one of the spaces that Waterfront Watch would have us believe to be "narrow, sunless alleys" (they must hate Melbourne!), whereas in reality it feels wide and spacious with a variety of harbour views. Now, if we could only do something about that ugly shed on the outer T...