The Awataha Greenway Project
The Awataha Greenway Project is a significant part of the broader Northcote Development Project. Come completion, it is envisaged that the greenway will be considered an important piece of natural amenity, to be well utilised by existing and future residents alike.
What is a greenway?
A greenway is a green ‘corridor’ designed to make it easy and pleasant for people to move around part of a neighbourhood or city. Northcote’s new greenway follows the path of the former Awataha Stream to the sea. The greenway forms a network of parks, public spaces and quiet streets that provide a safe and healthy environment for people, plants and wildlife. Some greenways, including this one, provide for the movement and cleaning of water as well.
What is its purpose?
The greenway will provide a place to walk or cycle, play and meet people. The route will safely connect the community to local destinations, including the schools, town centre, public transport stops and recreation spaces, and access the wider city cycle network. It will provide opportunities to learn about the natural world, and help with overland water flow to reduce flooding.
The Awataha Stream
Water from the existing stormwater pipe running alongside the schools will be opened up (or “daylighted”) in a recreated stream channel. Water safety has been carefully considered in the design – for example, it has been designed so that, most of the time, a low base flow will run along the stream bed. The stream and its banks have been designed to have a gentle gradient, making it easy to get to, and away from, the water. Access points will be controlled by planting and features such as stepping stones.
The existing stormwater pipe will be retained so that not all the stormwater goes into the stream. This will help control how much water goes into the stream and carry the majority of the stormwater. During heavy rain, when both the stream and the stormwater pipe cannot take all the water, a channel called an ‘overland pathway’ will carry the surplus water away.
A design influenced by the community
Panuku Development Auckland and HLC have been working with the Northcote Greenway Community Reference Group, the Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Project Working Group and the Kaipātiki Local Board to gather a wide range of input for the Awataha Greenway Project.
Valuable insights have emerged from these sessions and are informing the ongoing design of the greenway.
What happens next?
The design work is at its most advanced for the Schools’ Edge part of the greenway and the Greenslade Reserve and Jessie Tonar Scout Reserve improvements. These three areas will be built/upgraded first.
Working with schools
We’ve been running Design Lab workshops with the three schools in the Northcote Development area; Onepoto Primary, Northcote Intermediate and Northcote College.
It’s important for students to play a leading role in the design process for the portion of the greenway that extends alongside Northcote Intermediate School and Onepoto Primary School. The Design Lab sessions have captured students’ ideas and vision for how the greenway should look, feel, and function. We have used these ideas to create a design brief for an outdoor classroom.
School’s Edge design
Panuku and HLC completed the developed design phase late last year, and are soon to begin the detailed design phasePanuku Development Auckland and HLC are now in the ‘developed design’ phase for the School’s Edge portion of the greenway. This section has the potential to become an outdoor classroom as well as a place for the wider community.
The Kaipātiki Local Board endorsed the Developed Design of the school’s edge portion of the Awataha Greenway Project in November 2018. This has enabled the project team to commence the detailed design with the confidence of their support. Following further discussions with the Ministry of Education, on its direction, the design will be adjusted through the detailed design phase to accommodate the retention of the Onepoto Awhina building.