What should we do with our Mighty River?

Artist's impression of river boardwalk

Hamilton City Council had an open day on Saturday at the Meteor to showcase some of their plans for the river and get people talking about them. The River Plan is intended to span several decades, and some interesting proposals were on display, including a planted pedestrian bridge, a new sports centre at Ferrybank and a man-made swimming hole at the Wellington Street beach.

River Plan open day

River Plan open day at the Meteor

To stimulate visitors’ imaginations there were also photos of other cities, both NZ and international, and their connections with their rivers and waterfronts. Council staff were on hand to discuss ideas, and there were ‘idea boxes” for people to share their suggestions.

Something that hadn’t really occurred to me before was how the drop in altitude from the city down to the river might affect what was possible; it could be said that the high and steep riverbanks effectively sever the river from the commercial centre. Contrast with Auckland’s and Wellington’s waterfronts, or most other NZ cities. However, access from street to shore might be improved with the aid of terracing, as has been proposed for the Embassy Square revamp.

What do you think?

The council has launched a website to present the plan, including a survey which I think would be a good use of anyone’s time.

Something I’d very much like to see is improvements to the river paths, particularly signage showing local street maps and nearby destinations with distances and walking/cycling times.

Are we making the most of our river? What are some realistic ways we could better link or integrate the river with our urban environment?

Category: CBD, Environment, Events, Planning, River | Tags:

One comment on “What should we do with our Mighty River?

  1. They really need to do a better job linking Hamilton East to the city. After you cross Clyde Street you’re walking through a wasteland until you get to Knox street.

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