An Accessible City is an initiative formed as part of the Christchurch City Central Recovery Plan, an outcome informed by the Council’s ‘Share and Idea’ initiative; aimed at engaging and affording Cantabrians a voice in the rebuild of their city. At its core a city centre travel network, An Accessible City has established an infrastructure network which puts people, not vehicles, first. Whilst unprecedented in New Zealand this method has been widely implemented worldwide to great success; giving cities a safer, ecologically cleaner mechanism for travelling around and within a city centre.
The solutions within An Accessible City Phase 1 have been developed by the City*Sense team (AECOM, Aurecon, Jasmax and specialist consultants), and consist of three streetscape packages.
Encompassing Manchester Street, Cambridge Terrace/Durham Street and Hospital Corner, Phase 1 re-establishes over 75,000sqm of streetscape.
Aligning to the outcomes of the Share an Idea initiative, the design creates compact cores within the city, where cyclist, pedestrian and public utility is prioritised over private vehicles. This is achieved through dividing the streetscape proportionately, to encourage alternative travel methods, and promote safety on the road, whilst discouraging the use of private vehicles; where traditionally they would cause congestion and dominate the road.
To offset environmental impact and recreate the ‘garden city’, over 250 new trees line the streets and 4,000sqm of plantings have been incorporated into extensive raingardens; while new pavements and furnishings realign the streetscapes. These inclusions also act as wayfinders for pedestrians and cyclers, who on occasion will share pavements and on others have their own designated walking/cycle lanes.
In addition to the streetscape design, Jasmax-designed architecturally iconic bus ‘super stops’ at Manchester Street and Hospital Corner to enable attractive and efficient improvements to bus infrastructure.
Traditionally a ‘car city, it is anticipated that An Accessible City’s streetscape designs will enable a three-fold increase in cycle and pedestrian movements within the city by 2041.