Category Archives: Walking

Ward St – CBD Future 2020 Vision

City news Oct/Nov 2005 headline: ‘Vibrant metro CBD upgrade will reflect local character’. In this plan Ward St is in ‘The retail precinct, bordered by London, Anglesea, Bryce, Nisbet, Collingwood and Victoria streets, [which] will include boutique stores, retail and inner city living (24/7 population presence – see text in image), with the education precinct the block home to Wintec’. This education precinct is odd, since the 1,700 Girls’ High students are not included in the future vision.

The focus of this post is the statement that promises ‘Enhancement of the pedestrian environment with a focus on accessible linkage between key areas includes the redevelopment of Garden Place, Civic Square … enhancement of link between the Wintec campus and CBD along Ward Street west, and the creation of a pedestrian friendly piazza along Anglesea Street’ (from City News 2005).

Firstly, the future envisioned by the Future 2020 Vision team also shows trees on south side of Ward St, as in the Stark Concept and ViaStrada’s idea. I’d suggest the Edward White Architect should just go and plant a tree on Ward St, where it suits his/her plan.

I like the way the Stark concept allows Ward St to have a gateway to/from Tristram St; it nicely reinforces that inside, Ward St is a place, where you can take your time and relax. Where the CBD Future 2020 Vision (2020) and ViaStrada ideas are ahead of the Stark Concept is we can see detailed link from Girls’ High to/from Ward Park of the needed better pedestrian priority, which should have happened as part of the Western Rail Trail (WRT) project (the Girls’ High bike parking stand is a WRT destination). The 2020 plan goes furthest by giving people walking and biking right of way across Ward St west of Tristram St. ViaStrada gives a refuge island.

The 2020 vision intention was that a ‘dramatically revitalised CBD will see it transformed into a buzzing people-friendly area that’s easy to get around, good for business, is well planned and reflects local character’. Now think about the decision makers’ primary default mode of transport: will it be ‘easy to get around’ with more of that, and if the ‘local character’ maintains existing rights on how roads are used now, will they allow change that gives more rights to vulnerable road users? What does a ‘buzzing people-friendly area’ feel like

Here are the three pages as published in City news Oct/Nov 2005


Category: CBD, News, Projects, Safety, Walking

Hamilton’s west town belt 1913

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One of the goals of Hamilton Urban Blog is to promote the Hamilton Green Ring project

John Claudius Loudon’s 1829 proposal for ‘zones of country’, ‘breathing zones’ or ‘breathing places’ is shown as a belt that surrounds a city, similar to those in the proposed frontier towns to be built on confiscated land in the Waikato, including Hamilton’s original town belt. Over the years, the southern river link of Hamilton’s belt has come apart, with the sale of land for housing development and schools fencing their boundaries.

It is good that the council has increased park land area to the south. Also, the Hospital land is still in government ownership, including a parcel of land between the Lake, at 198 Pembroke St, linking to Selwyn St and the Hospital campus. This gives an option to link the Lake Path to the Hospital campus with an accessible path at a friendly gradient, suitable for 8- to 80-year-olds.

Looking to the northern part of the belt, the Waitawhiriwhiri stream and river area of the town belt is explained by Loudon (p. 690):

“In cases where towns and villages stretch along rivers, in very narrow vales, on the ridges of hills, or in narrow strips along the sea coast, these zones become unnecessary, because the surface of the land is supposed to be open on one or on both sides.”

My town belt drawing is based on the ‘Plan of Hamilton Borough and Frankton Borough’ which was drawn by Rob Airey in April 1913. The drawing includes the names of Surveyor General James Mackenzie, Chief Draughtsman Head Office Wellington, H.T.McCardell, and Chief Surveyor Auckland H.M.Skeet. This drawing is a bit more generous than earlier maps with regard to invasion/confiscation names. Hamilton Lake has the inclusion of its original name (Rotoroa), Te Rapa has moved north into Frankton borough as Te Rapa Parish, Pukete Parish is on the north side of Waitawhiriwhiri steam and Kirikiriroa Railway Station is in Claudelands

Category: Advocacy, News, Planning, Walking