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More central city pocket parks to come from council’s pockets

Sep 16th, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

Pocket Across the top 3RESIDENTS and a property developer back the creation of new “pocket parks” in Wellington’s central business district.

A pocket park is a small area of land designed for use by people occupying the central city.

The Open Spaces and Recreational Framework voted on as part of Our Capital Spaces report at the last Wellington City Council meeting allows for the creation of a number of new parks in Wellington.

Ian Cassels, managing director of The Wellington Company backed the council to make it happen despite of the value of CBD land.

“I wouldn’t underestimate the belief they could do it,” he said.

Mr Cassels said although land is expensive he agrees that there is a need for more parks.

“As the population of the city increases then the need [for parks] increases.”

Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon said pocket parks played an important role within the city.

“Let’s not always just think of major parks.”

Mr McKinnon said although the cost of land was high, the council had shown it was able to utilise the space of old buildings in the past.

Pocket Headshot

Deputy Mayor Ian McKinnon
Photo: Fairfax NZ

“Midland Park (pictured above and below) used to have a hotel on it. I used to stay in it in my youth 100 years ago.”

He said there were no current planned sites for pocket parks but they would look out for possible spaces.
Mr McKinnon said pocket parks created a healthier environment in a city.“We have a number in Wellington at the moment but other opportunities might arise.”

“Cities with a density of buildings heavily occupied by people are healthier places when you have pocket parks scattered throughout them.”

Geraldine Murphy, chairperson for the Wellington Inner City Association said he idea had not been brought up at any meetings but parks were important in creating green space in an otherwise concrete and steel environment.

She said there might be some challenges in finding the right space and defining its use.

“[Is it] a place for people to sit, do things or just having more green?”

One concern she had was, if chosen poorly, the sites might attract antisocial behaviour.

Ms Murphy said the use of green walls would be another great way of bringing more green into the city if this were the desired outcome.

A green wall is a planted wall within a city designed to break up unnatural landscapes.

Pocket Across the bottom

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is a Whitireia journalism student at the Media Training School. Originally from Nelson, Jacob is now covering the Te Aro area of the Wellington city. He is interested in the effects of social media on journalism and integrating multimedia in his stories.
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