Hamilton River plan 1980s

In the 1980s Hamilton city leaders had a vision:

“The closure of Victoria St would allow the formation of an un-fragmented pedestrian core to the central city, and of course this in turn, would provide unhindered access across to the important Riverbank Development … An open space in this situation demonstrates two important points. Firstly, [bring] the riverbank into the central core. Secondly, road space setback and low rise historic buildings are used to avoid excessive sunlight ordinances on surrounding sites.”

“A riverside promenade provides the opportunity of creating a series of outstanding central city open spaces with river views. Low rise shops and offices facing onto the promenade would screen the backs of tail building, service courts and service lane.”

Over the last 3 decades the Novotel respected the ‘setback’. Ibis and Sky city have built their parts of the ‘promenade’and the ‘low rise shops and offices’. Both Ibis and Sky city built potential shop fronts along the promenade, BNZ supplies the ‘offices’ and there is a good mix of restaurant/bars over-looking the promenade/river.

But after decades, and new promenades being built, there is a 4m long missing connecting link at end of Alma St, the existing connecting path is less than 1m wide, and the city leaders vision has moved south, with many more millions of dollars being spent.It should be possible to bridge this gap and the cost is not millions, it’s staying power. The 1980s utopian idea of “A riverside promenade … river views … Low rise shops … facing onto the promenade” hasn’t left the minds of the city leaders. They just need a nudge to look at how close we are to have a Victoria on the River to Claudelands Bridge real-world promenade, and its huge untapped potential for visitor and tourism opportunities.

To finish my concepts drawings below show how permeable the cities link along the river could be.



Category: CBD, News, Projects, River

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