Auckland’s hills help to define the city and making good use of them is important. As I mentioned the other day some people have started taking to “downhilling” on the rail network whereby they get off a train at Grafton and ride down to the city from there. Perhaps we could also try this type of downhilling from Bristol in the UK.

A 90m long waterslide was installed down a street as part of an art project as part of the councils plans to Make Sundays special. Over 95,000 people tried to get tickets to ride the slide but only 360 were able to be picked to do so.

Bristol artist Luke Jerram turns park street into a water slide!

On the 4th May this giant 90m (300ft) water slide was installed on Park Street in Bristol as part of Making Sundays Special and the Bristol Art Weekender. Running from 11am-5pm for one day only, the day was an event for the city to remember!

96,573 people signed up for their chance to get a ‘ticket to slide’, through a ballot with only 360 tickets were issued to a few lucky people on the day.

Enabling people to navigate the streets of their city in a new way, the slide is a simple architectural intervention and a playful response to the urban landscape. Like many of Jerram’s projects the installation requires public participation to be activated. The person on the slide becomes the performer, while spectators either side watch on.

This massive urban slide transforms the street and asks people to take a fresh look at the potential of their city and the possibilities for transformation. Imagine if there were permanent slides right across cities.

As you can see from the video the event was really popular for not just those on the slide but for people watching too.

Bristol Slide

There’s more photo’s here.

So how about the council do something similar (in summer). Perhaps it could be done combined with closing Queen St to cars for a day.

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  1. The problem with a waterslide on Queen Street is that you would have to stop at every intersection and wait 2 minutes for the lights to change in your favour. That and get off the slide and press the button to allow you to cross. Won’t somebody think of the cars?

  2. Wild and crazy ideas like this have a place, but they have to be at least somewhat realistic. Building a 90m waterslide down the length of a city centre street is fine, but closing Queen St to traffic for a day? Have you taken leave of your senses?

    1. One should not even dream of closing Queen Street to traffic at all ever no matter what, let alone a whole day just so that people can have fun! [sarc/]

    1. This should be something AT do for the next electric train launches, possibly at Manukau, Panmure and Britomart?

  3. Those poor shopkeepers in Bristol must have hated all those pedestrians coming into their shops and buying things. Much easier when the cars just drive by, like in High Street.

    1. It was absolutely awesome, great family atmosphere, no trouble, people ringing cow bells and cheering on people going down the slide. Part of a whole series of Make Sunday Special ( events where they close city centre streets, have stalls, entertainment etc. There were a number of festivals on last weekend and the whole city was absolutely packed. Lots of foreign voices too – Bristol is a big budget airline hub and weekend travel destination. Ironically the car parks were the most crowded I’ve ever seen them!

  4. 1 minute gaps per each slidestrian? Safety regulations run amok, I say. Worse than single-occupancy cars as a transport mode. Until PT slides are developed, I don’t support this.

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