Open space is incredibly important in the city and something needed more and more as the city intensifies. Here is a little video from the US talking about it and how we can get more of it.
There are a couple of things that really stand out to me
It’s not how big the open space is but how well it is designed. We’re not likely going to be able to add in another Domain or Cornwall Park to the city however small neighbourhood parks are something we could do and if designed well can be really really effective. Also not all parks need to be grass and trees. Urban plaza’s in the CBD and in metro/town centres are important too. In some ways I think the shared spaces are helping to add to the urban areas what we have even though they are technically streets.
Some potential parks can be reclaimed for public space is by capping motorways or converting old and unused structures. A couple of examples were given in the City Centre Master Plan including capping the motorway between Grafton Rd and Wellesley St and between Upper Queen St and Symonds St. The image below shows what the Grafton Gully capping could look like.
Another idea in the CCMP is to turn the old Nelson St off-ramp into a park, similar to what has happened with the High Line in New York.
I think there is potential for it to happen in a few other places on the motorway network too, along with a few places on the rail network.
How we deal with expanding the amount of open space within the urban area is going to be incredibly important in the future, especially in areas which are likely to see a lot of intensification in the future. It’s good that we have some ideas for the city centre but perhaps we need to be thinking about other areas too.