Ōtākaro Avon Green Corridor


Created at: 27 Oct 2022


The Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor in Christchurch New Zealand is a 602 hectare Green Corridor. This space sees the regeneration of an 11km stretching from the sea, to the city. This Green Corridor contains Trails, Bridges, Riverside landings, Restored natural habitat and community Spaces connecting the people of the site to nature and increasing the health of the ecologies and users. This proposal has started its process but due to the large scale it could take up to 50 years to fully develop within the site. 5500 properties within Christchurchs earthquake red zone were purchased from residents to be converted into parts of this corridor. This Corridor has many benefits on the ecology, climate, economy and society of the spatial environment. The Otakaro Corridor will promote biodiversity in the space. By restoring all of the natural Ecosystems within the site, the habitats of the species living within the space will be much healthier. This new space will also provide new habitats for other species. “Provide nesting spots for birds and shade for fish, and help stabilise the river bank, an opportunity exists to progressively regenerate native ecosystems to protect and enhance mahinga kai” (Ōtakaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan, n.d.) The space encourages walking, therefore the lack of cars will preservethe air and conserve the ecologies in the Corridor. There is also an emphasis on the rivers water, this plan will help to restore the water quality of the river which will help to enable the return of native species for example koura.“Create a restored native habitat with good quality water so there is an abundant source of mahinga kai, birdlife and native species” (Ōtakaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan, n.d.) The main goal of this corridor is to increase the amount of species within the space and regenerate the existing ones. The designers of the Avon Green Corridor have focused on the effects of sea level rise, with this rise expected to be 0.65-1.9m within the next 100 years they have designed for the space to adapt to this future, “Stopbanks should be set further away from the river’s edge with the wider foundations that allow the stopbanks to be raised over time to adapt to sea level rise” (Ōtakaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Plan, n.d.). Due to a third of the 2600 hectare stormwater catchment being drained through the corridors regeneration area, the space is retrofit to treat the storm water and allow from a cleaner habitat for species and combat the decline in the rivers water quality. The massive increase in ground cover and extraction of unliveable houses in replacement for more of the green corridor means the urban heat island effect is combatted as there is less impervious services and more green space. The air is also going to be a lot healthier as the green space absorbs unhealthy pollutants from the air.

Christchurch’s proposed Avon Green Corridor includes a lot of Green Ground cover including tree, bushes and trails, these help with climate change mitigation as they assist in reducing the temperature of the space and absorb harmful pollutants. This Green Corridors existing and regenerated vegetation absorbs Co2 and releases oxygen into the air. After the Christchurch earthquakes the social communities of the city were disrupted greatly, this regeneration throughout the city will help bring these communities together and encourage social connection. The Biophilic aspect of the Corridor will also enhance the mental and physical wellbeing of its users, the natural physical and mental health benefits help people to calm down and assists in healing. “we’ve completed the construction of three new foot/cycle bridges at Snell Pl, Medway St and Avondale to improve community connections”(Ōtakaro Avon River Corridor, n.d.). The presence of the new cycle and foot bridges encourage walking and cycling within the space therefore improves the fitness and physical health of its users. These pathways also allow for social connections as they are a space to meet new people.

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About the author

Riana Horne

• Submitted 3 projects
• Expert at Air Quality
• New Zealand

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