Big turnout for riverside design forum

by Charlotte,
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Lower Hutt’s Dowse Art Museum was abuzz with ideas and enthusiasm recently as nearly 300 people gave us their views on what they want to see along the Te Awakairangi/Hutt Riverside and within its river corridor.

The focus of all the activity over two days was how we should plan for activities, amenities and environments through the stretch of the river between the Ewen and Kennedy-Good bridges. People
were invited to view a video on the project, review great ideas for riverside amenities and landscapes from here and overseas, and use symbols and stickers to give us their
ideas on how we can make the area look great and work for the community.

“We got really useful and clear feedback on access to the river, what kinds of paths people want along the riverside and on the stopbanks and on the proposed pedestrian and cycleway bridge,” says urban planner Marc Baily of consultants Boffa Miskell. “The community also showed a lively interest in garden-like landforms which look lovely and promote diverse ecology, active swimming, picnicking and play areas where you can sit and enjoy the river.”

Three questions were also asked about the value of the river to the Lower Hutt community: 82 percent of people responding said revitalisation of the city is very important; 61 percent that its
connection to the river is very important; 61 Percent believed having people live in the city centre was also very important.

“These findings are right in line with the community’s decision to go ahead with the RiverLink project,” says Marc, “which was favoured both as a flood protection scheme and as a city rejuvenation plan
through Hutt City Council’s Making Places project. They show the community really values the relationship between the river and the CBD and that linking them will be key to re-enlivening the area. ”

The community’s input through the community design workshop is now being applied to potential urban landscape design options.

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