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

Monday, November 28, 2005

Waterfront quibbles

There were a lot more waterfront-related letters in last week's Capital Times. This time, one guy agreed with me (thanks, Peter Frawley) and three others were generally on the other side. None from Wadestown, for a change: just Khandallah and Crofton Downs!

A lot of the debate seems to have deteriorated into quibbles about who said what. As tiresome as it is, I've had to try to set things straight about what I've been saying, so here's what I sent back:
Peter Brooks denies that Waterfront Watch want nothing but park for Waitangi, but the article "Election Promises Questioned" (Capital Times, 12 October) stated: "a motion was passed opposing the large buildings, proposing instead that the entire Waitangi/Chaffers area between Te Papa and Oriental Parade be declared public park land indefinitely". That's a vision that I, and most people I talk to, do not share. He also says they accept mixed use, so I assume they want homes and workplaces on the waterfront?

Doris Heinrich suggests that my vision is for "buildings along the length of the waterfront" with "a few narrow pathways between buildings". Personally, I could handle a more urban waterfront, but my letters always advocate the balanced solution that is proposed, which is far from Heinrich's caricature. For example, the public spaces leading to the water at Kumutoto will be wider than Cuba Mall: hardly "narrow lanes"!

We'll never agree about whether empty spaces are dull. The Hutt Valley has plenty of open space, and it's as dull as ditchwater; downtown Wellington is fairly built up, and it's relatively lively. Let's have a waterfront that's alive around the clock, not one that dies when the sun goes down.
Oops, I was rude about the Hutt again! On the other hand, they have been asking for it.


At 10:40 pm, November 28, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on as always, Tom.


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