New Zealand’s third largest city suffered devastation from multiple earthquakes between 2010 and 2012. Almost a third of the central business district needed demolition as a result. As part of the rebuilding, the opportunity was taken to create an urban park of 48 hectares along a 3.2km stretch of the river that runs through the centre.

The competition-winning scheme creates a greener, more accessible city with a compact core, stronger built identity and a greater focus on people and nature. A new pedestrian promenade and cycleway running the full length of the Precinct links new urban spaces along the Avon River corridor which is re-established as an important natural habitat with improved water quality. The rejuvenated landscape aims to blend the best of exotic and native planting and reflects the weaving together of the city’s cultures.

A first phase, called Watermark, is open and features boardwalks and terracing that allow easy access tothe river. Feature lighting improves safety in the evenings and enhances the natural beauty of the central city.

Landscape Architects: BDP Landscape

Credits as supplied: BDP, Opus, Boffa Miskell, Land Lab, EOS Ecology.