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

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


It will come as no surprise to most of you that I don't do "burst culture" very well, but since I'm in a rush between putting together my aBc entry and heading out of town for the rest of the week, I thought it was time for some quick snippets before I left.

Wind turbine at Waitangi ParkThe long-delayed Waitangi Park wind turbine has finally arrived, and I don't think it'll be keeping any Mt Vic residents awake. It's a tiny little thing with an output of 1.5kW, and will be supplementing the water pumps, lighting and UV water treatment in the park, while acting as a trial for Vector. They may not get as much output down near ground level as up on top of buildings, and it may be a little ironic that as soon as it was installed, Wellington's wind died (not that we're complaining).

On Sunday I went to the mayoral candidates' forum on the built environment, and was frankly more than a little disappointed at the general waffliness and lack of preparation in the responses, given that such hot button issues as infill, the waterfront, transport and heritage all fit into that category. The Architectural Centre will have a media release out shortly to summarise the event, but I have to say that while it underlined my resolve never to vote for certain candidates, and helped rule out some others, it didn't give me confidence that any candidate can deliver the Wellington I want.

Caffe Italiano openingOne thing I do want from Wellington, as most of you will have figured out by now, is a better choice of shops, bars and cafés. On that count, this week looks like providing a bumper crop, with two or three about to open. I'll be particularly interested to see how Caffé Italiano turns out, given my earlier speculations about the development of that stretch of Cuba St. They were having their (private) opening when I walked past this evening, and some of the deli produce on offer looked very tempting indeed.

Finally, the build-up to IntensCITY week continues, with INSite shipping containers and Urban Critique posters popping up all over the place. I've written a short piece about it for Texture, and created a ZoomIn group of the INSite locations, where it's my fond hope that people (i.e. you) will add their photos and thoughts. I was especially intrigued to read this council news item about one of the containers which will be turned into a replica tram, where the artist apparently "notes that many European cities have banned private cars from city centres and now encourage public transport systems based on the electric trams. He wonders what it would be like if that scenario took place here?" Could it be? A council-funded art project promoting light rail and pedestrianisation!


At 6:21 pm, September 22, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, how about a mayoral roundup sometime (either here, or on the Wellingtonista)? I'm left with the disturbing prospect of having to rank Kerry second (!) at the moment, I'm hoping you'll have some insight into the other candidates.


Post a Comment

<< Home