It isn’t just the draft Central City Plan that the Council is producing as part of the rebuild. As outlined previously, there are a number of suburban centre initiatives that are also underway and these are in their own way very interesting and exciting. The first suburban centres to receive some major attention were Sydenham and Lyttelton, with draft plans for both due out in September. Now ‘Linwood Village’ (Stanmore Rd/Worcestor St area) and Selwyn Street are to get the treatment, with community workshops having taken place on 24 and 25 August. Feedback from focus groups and meeting presentations can be seen here and here for Lyttelton and Sydenham respectively.
The Lyttelton presentation seems to have a slightly unhealthy focus on car parking in my opinion. It is very easy to be blinded by the ‘convenience’ of the car sometimes, and use car parks as a default for ‘access’. While I believe in a balanced approach to transport policy, we do need to provide for car access to a degree, I also believe people need to ask themselves if they actually want to encourage such a large mount of cars into their communities. I really do not think people realise how detrimental to their communities cars can be (we don’t go to Tower Junction for the ambience!). Lyttelton has huge potential as a destination, but does ‘good access’ really equal ‘lets build heaps of car parks’? I don’t think so and in Lyttelton, as elsewhere in Christchurch, we need to ensure we have good access for all modes of transport, not allow one to dominate to such a degree. More car parks does not necessarily equal ‘good access’.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see the first drafts when they are released next month, and I am very eager to compare to the draft Central City Plan and see if key ideas, particularly around transport, are carried over.