Better streets & spaces  |  12 Mar 2020

Development activity in the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor regeneration area will ramp up over the next year as work begins to realise the long-term vision for the area.

With ownership of the 11km-long former residential red zone due to transfer from the Crown to Christchurch City Council in tranches from 1 July 2020, the Council is already considering how to manage the land and bring to life the vision and objectives set out in the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan.

“We are determined to get moving on the Plan, as demonstrating our commitment to making it a reality will encourage other investors and interest groups to jump on board,’’ says Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

“The full development of this 602-hectare area, which stretches from the city to the sea, will take a long time. However, we owe it to our communities to do all we can to get the initial stages under way as soon as possible.

“One of our first priorities is starting the development of the Green Spine, which will follow the river from Barbadoes Street to Bexley. The Green Spine will include large areas of ecological restoration and wetlands, walking paths, nature trails, cycleways, riverside landings and community spaces such as picnic spots and barbecue areas.

“The Government has accepted our Investment Case for $40 million from the Christchurch Regeneration Acceleration Facility, which means that we can now start restoring some key ecological areas and begin developing a network of pathways and public landing sites along the river.

“We have also secured $13.7 million from the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust for a riverside landing and three pedestrian and cycle bridges within the Green Spine.

“The aim is to get construction on these projects under way as soon as possible,’’ Mayor Dalziel says.

In the meantime, many community and interest groups have been developing proposals for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor and Council staff have committed to offer all the support and advice they can.

“When it comes time to make decisions about specific, permanent land uses within the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor there will be extensive engagement with the community so that we get the best outcomes for the city,’’ Mayor Dalziel says.

“This is an incredible asset for our city and a true legacy from our earthquake experience.’’