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Stadium location must adhere to urban design

Media Release – for immediate release

21 November 2006


Stadium location must adhere to urban design principles

A poll of Auckland architects has revealed strong opposition to an Auckland waterfront stadium at the proposed site, a wafer-thin preference for the Eden Park site and a resounding cry for any decision to be based on urban design principles rather than political expediency.

The Auckland branch of the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) sought feedback from its members in an email poll on the Government’s two preferred sites.

Asked about a new national stadium on Captain Cook and Marsden Wharves, almost three quarters of respondents were opposed to the site, 21% were in favour, and 5% responded ‘don’t know’, or made other responses.

When asked if they supported the redevelopment of Eden Park, the response was evenly split, with 41% replying yes, 39% no and 20% saying they were undecided.

But the strongest message from Auckland’s architects was that any decision must be made on the basis of independent urban design analysis.

Factors architects believe must be taken into consideration include:

- Predictions of crowd travel by car, train and ferry

- The impact of congestion on vehicular and rail movements, during construction and long-term

- Provision of carparking for crowds, in relation to existing and future city figures, use of Vector Stadium, and others

- Pedestrian movement figures

- Effect on wind patterns at street level

- Visual impact from multiple viewpoints in adjacent streets and buildings, from east and west suburbs, from Harbour Bridge, from North shore suburbs, from Rangitoto, and from the sea

- Impact of noise and lights on neighbours both sides of harbour during use, and during four-year construction period

- Potential leveraging possibilities on city infrastructure such as lengthening of Britomart station to accommodate crowds and the undergrounding of Quay St

- Complimentary uses around the edges of the stadium, especially at ground level, that will ensure a high degree of public activity at all times, even when the stadium itself is unoccupied.

In all, 64% thought this analysis should extend to other serious options in addition to the Government’s two preferred sites. These other options included Bledisloe Wharf, North Shore Stadium, Carlaw Park and Manukau Harbour.

The result indicates serious concern among architects over the lack of due process being applied in the unrealistically short timeframe for a decision, and the potential for a poorly conceived stadium to block wider urban design objectives for the waterfront.


ENDS

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