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Jade Stadium development works with community

Jade Stadium development works with community

The long-term vision shown by one of Christchurch’s biggest economic players, Jade Stadium, in considering the wider impact of its future development should be praised, says chairman of the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy Forum, Bob Parker.

Vbase, which manages Jade Stadium for the Christchurch City Council, unveiled a preliminary four-year plan yesterday to increase seating capacity by 7000 to 43,000 at Jade Stadium by replacing its ageing No 1-3 stands with a new East Stand to support the city’s role in the 2011 Rugby World Cup and 2015 Cricket World Cup.

Mr Parker, also a city councillor, says he’s yet to make up his mind on whether to support the proposal, but he’s rapt that Vbase aims to work with Council to review traffic planning around the stadium, and encourage public transport use rather than automatically seek ways of building more carpark space.

Vbase has said the proposed development would provide a catalyst to review traffic planning around the stadium. A comprehensive management plan would include better use of public transport - possibly including rail – and more use of inner city parking buildings and suburban park-and-ride shuttle bus services.

Part of the Vbase plan proposes the construction of a “Stadium Walk” to encourage people to walk from the inner city to Jade Stadium along a safe, marked, well-lit and attractive walkway from down-town entertainment areas.

Vbase Chief Executive, Bryan Pearson, has said the walk from Jade Stadium actually takes only 15 minutes but few opt to criss-cross major arterial roads that carry heavy traffic, along imposing, unlit and uninviting road-fronts.

Mr Parker says that the long-term planning demonstrated by Vbase was just the sort of approach that the Greater Urban Development Strategy wanted to encourage among the city’s leading businesses and decision-makers.

Instead of planning development in isolation, it was important to question what impact it might have on the rest of the community in surrounding areas and beyond, then working together with other logical partners to seek possible solutions.

Vbase’s efforts to promote public transport use and a possibly walkway also aligned well with the UDS’s aim to encourage people to leave their cars at home to reduce traffic congestion as the population increased.

With Vbase also willing to work in partnership with the Hagley-Ferrymead Community Board to consider local concerns, the communities most impacted also had a chance to present their views on the future of their area, Mr Parker says.


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