Draft OARC Regeneration Plan - 4: Phase 2: Welcome people in

People relaxing in a park in the late afternoon.

MEDIUM TERM

Purpose of this phase

The second phase of regeneration focuses on the return of people and activity to the area through actions, projects and transitional activities that create a critical mass of users, stimulating further investment in the area.

What can you expect?

The first signs of development are likely to be evident in pockets of land both within the Green Spine and across the Reaches. Surrounding areas will most likely remain as they are during this phase.

Early construction of the City to Sea path is considered critical to catalysing the area, encouraging the community to engage with the scale and potential of the Regeneration Area through recreational uses such as cycling, walking, kayaking, dog walking and fitness stations. The Cultural Trail has the potential to attract significant visitor numbers and over time the development of the landings will support the establishment of small-scale food and hire outlets, as well as offering amenities such as barbecue areas, toilets and parking.

New or replacement footbridges would enable communities to reconnect across the river, and new families will be drawn to these neighbourhoods with the development of edge and adaptable housing. As investment in amenities builds, so too will community identity and pride.

The increased activity generated through development of the Green Spine will build on and stimulate new and varied transitional activities such as events, small-scale social enterprise, camping, sporting and recreational facilities, and small-scale food production.

Signs of ecological restoration will emerge, with dense islands of vegetation providing stepping stones for the re-establishment of habitat and the return of birdsong both within the area and across neighbouring communities. Some species may be reintroduced, and predator control, monitoring programmes and habitat renewal could begin to generate public interest in establishing an eco-sanctuary over the longer term.

As well as being a destination for visitors, a large-scale visitor attraction in one of the Reaches could start to create character and identity, encouraging other businesses to invest in the area.

Significant areas within the Reaches will remain underdeveloped and may lie fallow or be leased for transitional uses to reduce maintenance costs through income-generating activities that align with the Vision and Objectives, such as sustainable agriculture or horticulture. These uses could continue for decades in some areas depending on the pace at which regeneration can occur.

What needs to be done?

Deliver the City to Sea path, landings, Cultural Trail, footbridges and community spaces and places to catalyse activation
These features are likely to form first major drawcard to the area. Design and development of these features requires significant input from manawhenua and neighbouring communities.

Prioritising the delivery of the City to Sea path would require co-ordination and support of the infrastructure delivery programme described below.

The City to Sea path
The river has always been a place of connection. Early Māori used the river to travel between settlements and harvest mahinga kai, and European settlers also used the river for transport before the first roads were developed.

The eleven-kilometre City to Sea path would build on these traditions and follow the river’s meander from the city to New Brighton with smaller trails connecting into surrounding neighbourhoods. A well-formed, accessible path would enable people of all ages, stages and levels of mobility to enjoy walking, cycling and scootering along a path that crosses between the two sides of the river. More naturalised and undulating trails for mountain biking and hiking would also be provided along significant lengths of the river.

The Christchurch City Council has set aside funding for the Avon – Ōtākaro Major Cycle Route to connect the central city to New Brighton. Planning for this project will need to consider how this complements the City to Sea path and connects with other cycle facilities across the city.

An example of how a landing might look. Each will be distinctive.

The landings
Eight distinctive landings located at regular intervals along the river would provide places for people to enjoy the river environment together.

Sited close to the river and the City to Sea path, the landings would be constructed to adapt to the river environment. They would include small-scale food and hire outlets, as well as amenities such as barbecue areas, toilets and parking, with jetties and boardwalks providing linkages with the river.

Each landing would be designed as a ‘storehouse of memories’ reflecting the local identity and heritage through collaboration with Ngāi Tūāhuriri artists and the local community. The themes proposed for each landing should be tested through further community engagement.

Avon Loop Landing – gateway to the city

Richmond Landing – European heritage

Avonside Landing – the river as a transport corridor

Wainoni Landing – recreation on and in the river

Avondale Landing – resilience and sea level rise

Travis Landing – mahinga kai exemplar

Rāwhiti Landing – Māori settlement

Bexley Landing – gateway to New Brighton

The Cultural Trail
The development of a Cultural Trail along the City to Sea path would promote visitation, drawing on the rich histories and sites of significance for early Ngāi Tūāhuriri and European settlers, and the more recent experiences of the residents of red zoned properties. Information about the ecological heritage and diverse animal and plant life would also enrich the visitor experience. Stories could be expressed through public artworks, signage, digital platforms, and retaining vestiges of the landscape such as street signs and original plantings.

Start the infrastructure delivery programme
A significant programme of infrastructure works that will serve the wider city is critical to delivery of the Green Spine. Undertaken by the Christchurch City Council, it will involve a complex long-term engineering project to develop stormwater treatment areas, replace temporary stopbanks and establish pumping stations. The following are key considerations in sequencing the programme:

  • The concept design for stormwater management areas and flood mitigation works planned over the next 30 years must be developed early to co-ordinate with other projects and land uses.
  • Although work on the City to Sea path will need to proceed together with development of the stopbanks and landings in some specific areas, most of the work on each feature can go ahead independently.
  • Because the existing temporary stopbanks have recently been strengthened, permanent stopbanks can be progressively implemented.

The large-scale earthworks involved in constructing stormwater treatment areas to filter contaminants before they enter the Ōtākaro/Avon River will require significant planning and consenting arrangements, as well as the establishment of transport access. It is likely that an early priority for this work will be the northern part of Horseshoe Lake Reach, recognising that its potential to support mahinga kai is of high cultural value to manawhenua.

These projects will have benefits for ecological and hazard management, but are also designed to provide natural environments for people to connect with and enjoy nature.

Upgrade Kerrs Reach to Ihutai/Avon Heathcote Estuary
Weed removal, dredging and widening the Ōtākaro/Avon River between Kerrs Reach and Ihutai/Avon Heathcote Estuary would restore the area as a safe, attractive and less congested destination for water sports users. The protection of existing flora and fauna would be a critical consideration.

Secure the first major visitor attraction: A major attraction that is in keeping with the character of the Regeneration Area could accelerate the activation of one of the Reaches by creating opportunities for smaller commercial enterprises to leverage off, beginning to establish the Regeneration Area as a unique regional destination. Some public sector investment in infrastructure and support would likely be necessary to secure the first large attraction.

An example of adaptable housing


Develop edge and adaptable housing
Up to 150 small sections of land on the edge of the Regeneration Area could be remediated and made available to provide a residential connection into neighbouring communities. Adaptable housing trials could be established in appropriate parts of the area.

Start ecological restoration and the mahinga kai approach to management
The initiation of a long-term restoration programme in partnership with manawhenua, communities, philanthropic funders and, if eligible, the Crown’s One Billion Trees programme would set the foundation for re-establishing the area’s ecological identity. Over 200,000 trees would need to be planted across 350 hectares in a multi-decade project that could involve volunteers, paid workers and the establishment of a local, large-scale nursery to raise the necessary quantity of seedlings. The restoration programme would invite interest from community groups, schools and visitors.

A trust or other structure could be established to raise funds to establish an eco-sanctuary in the longer term.

MEDIUM TERM

Purpose of this phase

The second phase of regeneration focuses on the return of people and activity to the area through actions, projects and transitional activities that create a critical mass of users, stimulating further investment in the area.

What can you expect?

The first signs of development are likely to be evident in pockets of land both within the Green Spine and across the Reaches. Surrounding areas will most likely remain as they are during this phase.

Early construction of the City to Sea path is considered critical to catalysing the area, encouraging the community to engage with the scale and potential of the Regeneration Area through recreational uses such as cycling, walking, kayaking, dog walking and fitness stations. The Cultural Trail has the potential to attract significant visitor numbers and over time the development of the landings will support the establishment of small-scale food and hire outlets, as well as offering amenities such as barbecue areas, toilets and parking.

New or replacement footbridges would enable communities to reconnect across the river, and new families will be drawn to these neighbourhoods with the development of edge and adaptable housing. As investment in amenities builds, so too will community identity and pride.

The increased activity generated through development of the Green Spine will build on and stimulate new and varied transitional activities such as events, small-scale social enterprise, camping, sporting and recreational facilities, and small-scale food production.

Signs of ecological restoration will emerge, with dense islands of vegetation providing stepping stones for the re-establishment of habitat and the return of birdsong both within the area and across neighbouring communities. Some species may be reintroduced, and predator control, monitoring programmes and habitat renewal could begin to generate public interest in establishing an eco-sanctuary over the longer term.

As well as being a destination for visitors, a large-scale visitor attraction in one of the Reaches could start to create character and identity, encouraging other businesses to invest in the area.

Significant areas within the Reaches will remain underdeveloped and may lie fallow or be leased for transitional uses to reduce maintenance costs through income-generating activities that align with the Vision and Objectives, such as sustainable agriculture or horticulture. These uses could continue for decades in some areas depending on the pace at which regeneration can occur.

What needs to be done?

Deliver the City to Sea path, landings, Cultural Trail, footbridges and community spaces and places to catalyse activation
These features are likely to form first major drawcard to the area. Design and development of these features requires significant input from manawhenua and neighbouring communities.

Prioritising the delivery of the City to Sea path would require co-ordination and support of the infrastructure delivery programme described below.

The City to Sea path
The river has always been a place of connection. Early Māori used the river to travel between settlements and harvest mahinga kai, and European settlers also used the river for transport before the first roads were developed.

The eleven-kilometre City to Sea path would build on these traditions and follow the river’s meander from the city to New Brighton with smaller trails connecting into surrounding neighbourhoods. A well-formed, accessible path would enable people of all ages, stages and levels of mobility to enjoy walking, cycling and scootering along a path that crosses between the two sides of the river. More naturalised and undulating trails for mountain biking and hiking would also be provided along significant lengths of the river.

The Christchurch City Council has set aside funding for the Avon – Ōtākaro Major Cycle Route to connect the central city to New Brighton. Planning for this project will need to consider how this complements the City to Sea path and connects with other cycle facilities across the city.

An example of how a landing might look. Each will be distinctive.

The landings
Eight distinctive landings located at regular intervals along the river would provide places for people to enjoy the river environment together.

Sited close to the river and the City to Sea path, the landings would be constructed to adapt to the river environment. They would include small-scale food and hire outlets, as well as amenities such as barbecue areas, toilets and parking, with jetties and boardwalks providing linkages with the river.

Each landing would be designed as a ‘storehouse of memories’ reflecting the local identity and heritage through collaboration with Ngāi Tūāhuriri artists and the local community. The themes proposed for each landing should be tested through further community engagement.

Avon Loop Landing – gateway to the city

Richmond Landing – European heritage

Avonside Landing – the river as a transport corridor

Wainoni Landing – recreation on and in the river

Avondale Landing – resilience and sea level rise

Travis Landing – mahinga kai exemplar

Rāwhiti Landing – Māori settlement

Bexley Landing – gateway to New Brighton

The Cultural Trail
The development of a Cultural Trail along the City to Sea path would promote visitation, drawing on the rich histories and sites of significance for early Ngāi Tūāhuriri and European settlers, and the more recent experiences of the residents of red zoned properties. Information about the ecological heritage and diverse animal and plant life would also enrich the visitor experience. Stories could be expressed through public artworks, signage, digital platforms, and retaining vestiges of the landscape such as street signs and original plantings.

Start the infrastructure delivery programme
A significant programme of infrastructure works that will serve the wider city is critical to delivery of the Green Spine. Undertaken by the Christchurch City Council, it will involve a complex long-term engineering project to develop stormwater treatment areas, replace temporary stopbanks and establish pumping stations. The following are key considerations in sequencing the programme:

  • The concept design for stormwater management areas and flood mitigation works planned over the next 30 years must be developed early to co-ordinate with other projects and land uses.
  • Although work on the City to Sea path will need to proceed together with development of the stopbanks and landings in some specific areas, most of the work on each feature can go ahead independently.
  • Because the existing temporary stopbanks have recently been strengthened, permanent stopbanks can be progressively implemented.

The large-scale earthworks involved in constructing stormwater treatment areas to filter contaminants before they enter the Ōtākaro/Avon River will require significant planning and consenting arrangements, as well as the establishment of transport access. It is likely that an early priority for this work will be the northern part of Horseshoe Lake Reach, recognising that its potential to support mahinga kai is of high cultural value to manawhenua.

These projects will have benefits for ecological and hazard management, but are also designed to provide natural environments for people to connect with and enjoy nature.

Upgrade Kerrs Reach to Ihutai/Avon Heathcote Estuary
Weed removal, dredging and widening the Ōtākaro/Avon River between Kerrs Reach and Ihutai/Avon Heathcote Estuary would restore the area as a safe, attractive and less congested destination for water sports users. The protection of existing flora and fauna would be a critical consideration.

Secure the first major visitor attraction: A major attraction that is in keeping with the character of the Regeneration Area could accelerate the activation of one of the Reaches by creating opportunities for smaller commercial enterprises to leverage off, beginning to establish the Regeneration Area as a unique regional destination. Some public sector investment in infrastructure and support would likely be necessary to secure the first large attraction.

An example of adaptable housing


Develop edge and adaptable housing
Up to 150 small sections of land on the edge of the Regeneration Area could be remediated and made available to provide a residential connection into neighbouring communities. Adaptable housing trials could be established in appropriate parts of the area.

Start ecological restoration and the mahinga kai approach to management
The initiation of a long-term restoration programme in partnership with manawhenua, communities, philanthropic funders and, if eligible, the Crown’s One Billion Trees programme would set the foundation for re-establishing the area’s ecological identity. Over 200,000 trees would need to be planted across 350 hectares in a multi-decade project that could involve volunteers, paid workers and the establishment of a local, large-scale nursery to raise the necessary quantity of seedlings. The restoration programme would invite interest from community groups, schools and visitors.

A trust or other structure could be established to raise funds to establish an eco-sanctuary in the longer term.