'A place to live, work, play and relax'

Greatest asset in Gisborne’s city centre are people: CCSF.

Greatest asset in Gisborne’s city centre are people: CCSF.

VISION: An illustrative concept plan for how a town square in the locale of Heipipi/Endeavour Park could be developed. Plan by B&A

Wynsley Wrigley looks at the City Centre Spatial Framework (CCSF), a supporting document of Gisborne District Council’s Tairawhiti Spatial Plan 2050. The framework supports plans to revitalise the CBD so that it remains the heart of the city, and the development of high-quality, affordable housing in and around the city centre.

A future Gisborne could feature a vibrant, smaller city centre attracting residential apartments, a thriving nightlife, a town square and a Grey Street Linear Park, with a river to beach link with vegetation, landscaped areas and play spaces.

That is the vision in a report commissioned by the Gisborne District Council.

The City Centre Spatial Framework (CCSF), by Auckland urban planning consultants Barker and Associates, seeks to inform the development of the Tairawhiti Spatial Plan 2050.

Gisborne district councillors have responded positively to the report.

The CCSF says the greatest asset in Gisborne’s city centre are people, which requires residential development both in the city and nearby areas.

The framework talks about consolidating the commercial core of the city “to enhance its vibrancy and enable the reintroduction of residential activities”.

The city centre should become “a place to live, work, play and relax’’.

Living in the city centre could be encouraged by inner apartments and now vacant second floor space.

A smaller city centre, including residents, could concentrate retail and commercial activities in a central core area within a five-minute walk from the Peel Street-Gladstone Road intersection.

It would reduce the need for individuals to drive between retail destinations spread around the Gisborne CBD, and help increase foot traffic and vitality around the commercial core.
That would create increased opportunities in hospitality, entertainment, retail, and the night time economy.

The report notes the theory (not just in Gisborne) that “as a rule of thumb, a five-minute threshold (approximately 400 metres distance) is considered the distance people are willing to walk before opting to drive”.

It says the retail sector now is dispersed, residential areas are cut off from the city centre and there is no concentration of workers and residents.

Former mayor Meng Foon — who becomes Race Relations Commissioner next week — says the council needs to be careful about centralising the retail sector.
“Retailing is changing dynamically and councils need to adapt to those dynamics,” he said.
Large cities had much bigger populations and a lot of shopping was done online, he said.

The CCSF also recommends investigating the development of a ‘‘town square’’ — a hard paved public open space — within the city centre to support temporary events and host important civic functions.

Town plaza at Heipipi?

The report names several options for “town squares”, and favours Heipipi/Endeavour Park as the “primary town square”.

Heipipi/Endeavour is seen as the logical place for such development because: “The site is in a highly-visible location, was identified as a key node within the Tairawhiti Navigations Masterplan, and acts as a stepping stone between the city and the waterfront. This area is also bordered by important civic buildings including the Police Station and District Court (it is also visually connected with the council offices) and it is located at the crossroads of the city’s important transport links from the north (Gladstone Road), east (Wainui Road), south (the port) and west (Awapuni Road).

“Furthermore, Heipipi Park has significance to local iwi and for post-European settlement which provides a structuring narrative to the future design and use of this site.”

On the downside, the report notes a major barrier to the success of this location as a town square is the presence of State Highway 35 which carries a high volume of vehicles, including heavy vehicles, travelling at 50kmh. This presented a significant safety challenge for vulnerable users such as cyclists and pedestrians, particularly seniors, children and people with disabilities.

“To address this issue, it is recommended that vehicle speeds be restricted to 30kmh through this area . . . This speed limit should also be applied generally through the core city centre.”

Mr Foon is not enthusiastic.

“Town squares are old hat,” he said.
“There are mini squares everywhere in our city already and each part is special in its own way.”

The CCSF pinpoints an “obvious” area for larger scale residential development as centred around existing commercially zoned land along Childers Street and the Awapuni block to the north and west of the core retail area of the city centre.

Providing incentives via a reduction in development contributions or rates rebates for pioneering developments may be required.

Mr Foon said he looked forward to the council zoning all of the railway land right through to Stanley Road into residential land. “This is a prime residential site going forward in the next 50 years — it is only 30 seconds from the sea.”

The move to a smaller core city centre would “free up a considerable amount of existing urban land for re-use, reducing pressures around urban expansion into the Poverty Bay Flats as well as ensuring new development in areas already supported by physical infrastructure, limiting the potential burden on council and ratepayers to fund additional infrastructure (for example, new water reticulation)”.

The framework also identifies a need to protect and enhance areas and land that support agricultural activities and supporting infrastructure.

CCSF projects that there is enough space in Gisborne City and its surrounding suburbs to account for increased population and commercial/industrial development under current zoning. “The key will be unlocking the development and redevelopment potential of areas.”

Councillor Larry Foster has questioned the population projection of 49,390 by 2028 (and 52,065 by 2043) because ‘‘we have 49,100 already’’.

The creation of a Grey Street “linear park’’ would involve relocating existing road space for significant vegetation, landscaped areas, play spaces and areas for relaxation within the city centre and would provide a ‘‘green axis’’ linking the natural assets of the Taruheru River, Alfred Cox Reserve and Waikanae Beach with the city centre.

Gisborne currently turned its back on one of its most prized assets — “the waterfront’’.

Other CCSF suggestions —

■ Intensive planting in several east-west connector streets which link the Taruheru River and Waikanae Beach to provide visual relief in the city centre, introduce shade and biodiversity.
■ Reprioritise walking and cycling movements between major open spaces.
■ Investigate the development of cross-town cycle links to connect existing radial cycle routes and provide a complete cycle network that caters to a wide range of users for a variety of trip purposes such as getting to work, going to the beach, getting to school or visiting friends and family.
■ Encourage the installation of ‘‘parklets’’ across the city centre to increase the provision of landscaping, street furniture, outdoor dining and play spaces.

Mr Foon said he was keen on linking the community with more walkways and cycleways.

“I hope the council will continue with this network of cycleways so that residents and visitors do like the experiences we have created in our region.
“I’m hoping that council will facilitate a great New Zealand walk from Gisborne to Hicks Bay to Opotiki.’’

Mr Foon said Gisborne and the East Coast “will be unique and an absolute paradise is in the world”.

Wynsley Wrigley looks at the City Centre Spatial Framework (CCSF), a supporting document of Gisborne District Council’s Tairawhiti Spatial Plan 2050. The framework supports plans to revitalise the CBD so that it remains the heart of the city, and the development of high-quality, affordable housing in and around the city centre.

A future Gisborne could feature a vibrant, smaller city centre attracting residential apartments, a thriving nightlife, a town square and a Grey Street Linear Park, with a river to beach link with vegetation, landscaped areas and play spaces.

That is the vision in a report commissioned by the Gisborne District Council.

The City Centre Spatial Framework (CCSF), by Auckland urban planning consultants Barker and Associates, seeks to inform the development of the Tairawhiti Spatial Plan 2050.

Gisborne district councillors have responded positively to the report.

The CCSF says the greatest asset in Gisborne’s city centre are people, which requires residential development both in the city and nearby areas.

The framework talks about consolidating the commercial core of the city “to enhance its vibrancy and enable the reintroduction of residential activities”.

The city centre should become “a place to live, work, play and relax’’.

Living in the city centre could be encouraged by inner apartments and now vacant second floor space.

A smaller city centre, including residents, could concentrate retail and commercial activities in a central core area within a five-minute walk from the Peel Street-Gladstone Road intersection.

It would reduce the need for individuals to drive between retail destinations spread around the Gisborne CBD, and help increase foot traffic and vitality around the commercial core.
That would create increased opportunities in hospitality, entertainment, retail, and the night time economy.

The report notes the theory (not just in Gisborne) that “as a rule of thumb, a five-minute threshold (approximately 400 metres distance) is considered the distance people are willing to walk before opting to drive”.

It says the retail sector now is dispersed, residential areas are cut off from the city centre and there is no concentration of workers and residents.

Former mayor Meng Foon — who becomes Race Relations Commissioner next week — says the council needs to be careful about centralising the retail sector.
“Retailing is changing dynamically and councils need to adapt to those dynamics,” he said.
Large cities had much bigger populations and a lot of shopping was done online, he said.

The CCSF also recommends investigating the development of a ‘‘town square’’ — a hard paved public open space — within the city centre to support temporary events and host important civic functions.

Town plaza at Heipipi?

The report names several options for “town squares”, and favours Heipipi/Endeavour Park as the “primary town square”.

Heipipi/Endeavour is seen as the logical place for such development because: “The site is in a highly-visible location, was identified as a key node within the Tairawhiti Navigations Masterplan, and acts as a stepping stone between the city and the waterfront. This area is also bordered by important civic buildings including the Police Station and District Court (it is also visually connected with the council offices) and it is located at the crossroads of the city’s important transport links from the north (Gladstone Road), east (Wainui Road), south (the port) and west (Awapuni Road).

“Furthermore, Heipipi Park has significance to local iwi and for post-European settlement which provides a structuring narrative to the future design and use of this site.”

On the downside, the report notes a major barrier to the success of this location as a town square is the presence of State Highway 35 which carries a high volume of vehicles, including heavy vehicles, travelling at 50kmh. This presented a significant safety challenge for vulnerable users such as cyclists and pedestrians, particularly seniors, children and people with disabilities.

“To address this issue, it is recommended that vehicle speeds be restricted to 30kmh through this area . . . This speed limit should also be applied generally through the core city centre.”

Mr Foon is not enthusiastic.

“Town squares are old hat,” he said.
“There are mini squares everywhere in our city already and each part is special in its own way.”

The CCSF pinpoints an “obvious” area for larger scale residential development as centred around existing commercially zoned land along Childers Street and the Awapuni block to the north and west of the core retail area of the city centre.

Providing incentives via a reduction in development contributions or rates rebates for pioneering developments may be required.

Mr Foon said he looked forward to the council zoning all of the railway land right through to Stanley Road into residential land. “This is a prime residential site going forward in the next 50 years — it is only 30 seconds from the sea.”

The move to a smaller core city centre would “free up a considerable amount of existing urban land for re-use, reducing pressures around urban expansion into the Poverty Bay Flats as well as ensuring new development in areas already supported by physical infrastructure, limiting the potential burden on council and ratepayers to fund additional infrastructure (for example, new water reticulation)”.

The framework also identifies a need to protect and enhance areas and land that support agricultural activities and supporting infrastructure.

CCSF projects that there is enough space in Gisborne City and its surrounding suburbs to account for increased population and commercial/industrial development under current zoning. “The key will be unlocking the development and redevelopment potential of areas.”

Councillor Larry Foster has questioned the population projection of 49,390 by 2028 (and 52,065 by 2043) because ‘‘we have 49,100 already’’.

The creation of a Grey Street “linear park’’ would involve relocating existing road space for significant vegetation, landscaped areas, play spaces and areas for relaxation within the city centre and would provide a ‘‘green axis’’ linking the natural assets of the Taruheru River, Alfred Cox Reserve and Waikanae Beach with the city centre.

Gisborne currently turned its back on one of its most prized assets — “the waterfront’’.

Other CCSF suggestions —

■ Intensive planting in several east-west connector streets which link the Taruheru River and Waikanae Beach to provide visual relief in the city centre, introduce shade and biodiversity.
■ Reprioritise walking and cycling movements between major open spaces.
■ Investigate the development of cross-town cycle links to connect existing radial cycle routes and provide a complete cycle network that caters to a wide range of users for a variety of trip purposes such as getting to work, going to the beach, getting to school or visiting friends and family.
■ Encourage the installation of ‘‘parklets’’ across the city centre to increase the provision of landscaping, street furniture, outdoor dining and play spaces.

Mr Foon said he was keen on linking the community with more walkways and cycleways.

“I hope the council will continue with this network of cycleways so that residents and visitors do like the experiences we have created in our region.
“I’m hoping that council will facilitate a great New Zealand walk from Gisborne to Hicks Bay to Opotiki.’’

Mr Foon said Gisborne and the East Coast “will be unique and an absolute paradise is in the world”.

What is a spacial plan?

A spacial plan is a long-term strategy that sets the direction for development, investment and conservation within a city or region.

Gisborne District Council’s Spatial Plan Tairawhiti 2050 provides a visual illustration of where development may occur, along with the infrastructure needs and any environmental constraints.

The strategy presented is “aspirational’’ but has also been developed so that it is deliverable.

Public consultation has been extended into September.

Council staff aim to present a final plan for adoption to a newly elected council in December 2019 after a hearing on submissions.

Former mayor Meng Foon said long-term planning was very important to the city and region as the population grew.
“It is very important to identify clearly the places of residence, the places of light industrial, heavy industrial, retail, commercial manufacturing, and leisure.
“The plan needs to be clear and concise and permissible.
“Council is here to enable people to do the activities they wish to do, but in the right places.
“An example of this was the council buying the former sites of Heinz-Watties and Bulmer Harvest.’’

Those two areas now had a mix of residential, office, hotel accommodation, apartment accommodation and retail, said Mr Foon.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

G R Webb - 20 days ago
Its doubtful we will get an accurate picture on the population even when interim Census figures are released next month. It has already been suggested that the Maori response rate is so low that figures will be meaningless. So it beggars belief how these wet-behind-the-ear Aucklanders can say what they think should or will happen. The problem here is that we do not have a growing population with real wealth. Our rating base is relatively stagnant and there is little developed land ready for building. There are urgent infrastructure problems that need fixes and not a lot of money to address them. It is pretty apparent that those who pay for these things don't have huge interest in Spatial Plan 2050. You can count on two hands those that made submissions. The current 10 year plan and the 10 years beyond that focus on a number of capital projects which should be ticked off first. The only addition would be, with the assistance of outside support, to develop some additional residential land that is build-ready.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Are you pleased that New Zealand history will be taught in all schools and kura from 2022?