Green and Blue Spaces

We all need access to green and blue space to be healthy.

Parks are for the people, planet and living.

Waterfront people building DSC_8008.JPG

At my walk and talk on Sunday 3 July, I identified priorities for developing climate friendly, biodiverse new park spaces that won’t cost the earth – one of the top three items of my Mayoral bid, better and more blue and green spaces for Wellingtonians.

More and better parks are needed since they are essential for quality neighbourhoods, necessary for mental health and physical wellbeing, and a big opportunity for a modern city.

Blue and green spaces are the parks and the Town Belt, the beach and streams, the little spaces around Wellington with a plant or two and the bit of grass that we walk across as relief from hard concrete. There is lot we can do to increase micro-green places, make green short cuts, and use the good work of volunteers in better ways and prioritise our spending in parks. We need more than the status quo to make the transformations needed for Wellington to be a great place to live.

There should be more choice in the services parks provide, and more green space for the inner city.

Firstly, we need to expand the scope of parks so more people can enjoy our green spaces. I want to see:

  1.  A park designed by and for girls, so they feel comfortable being out and physical even during their teens, when activity often drops off.

  2.  More challenge and adventure for young people so they feel welcome in our parks, things like swings, rope-walk challenges in the pine trees, or even another game like Pokemon Go.

  3.  A park that specifically caters to people with cognitive impairments, such as a dementia-friendly space

  4.  And we need accessible park spaces for kids of all abilities in every suburb.

And secondly, we need more green space in the inner city. It’s needed to meet World Health Organisation guidelines now, and it is essential for quality housing of the future.

There are three publicly owned, Let’s Get Wellington Moving-adjacent spaces that can be developed now to make three new, open, public green spaces for Wellington.

Firstly, Bunny Street, both outside the Railway Station and the Old Government Building, to be transformed. These large sunny areas already have large numbers of people using them. Imagine how much easier it would be to walk or wheelchair out the front door of the station and straight across to your next destination. Or to linger for a while.

Secondly, Jervois to Waterloo Quay, half of this road can be used for public green space as well as the second public transport spine and room over for a cycleway as well. The waterfront side can be retained for cars and trucks.

Thirdly, the easiest space to repurpose is the existing Canal Reserve, that green bit between Kent and Cambridge Terrace.

Right here in plain view are the large spaces that we need to make the inner city a great place to live now and in the future. This space needs our protection so that it is not lost to other demands. It’s part of my vision for a world class 21st century Wellington.

  • Wellington embraces its Biophilic City status

  • Biodiversity support takes a front seat (global issue) with green space a key part of everything

  • We go hard on pest weeds and animals (volunteers important, Zealandia our success story)-

  • Support a 3 – 30 – 300 approach to planning for the green (3 trees from your home window, 30% green cover on your streets, 300metres to the nearest park – World Health Organisation guidelines)-

  • Well maintained street trees 

  • We have nearly 3000 hectares of green and open spaces with 105 playgrounds.