Te Papa Ōtākaro / Avon River Precinct
Te Papa Ōtākaro
The winding path of the Ōtākaro/Avon River will mark Christchurch’s new river precinct.
Te Papa Ōtākaro will include Victoria Square (formerly Market Square) and be part of the central city’s spiritual and aesthetic identity. The visual contrast between the curving river and the linear grid of the streets is a key element of the city’s distinctive urban form.
Ōtākaro holds great significance for Ngāi Tahu: the river was their commercial vein, transport route, source of mahinga kai, and the place by which they lived and traded. The new precinct will give priority to people and provide for cyclists and pedestrians.
Land facing north and west onto the river has high amenity value and is close to the Core. Cafes and bars will re-emerge, inviting connection with the river. New buildings, including hotels, will enjoy river views.
The park zoning will be about 30 metres wide on either side of the river and addresses existing geotechnical constraints. As part of Te Papa Ōtākaro, Victoria Square will be revitalised as a place of welcome for all and become a thriving and vibrant area.
- will cover both sides of the Avon River from Christchurch Hospital to the eastern edge of the central city (Fitzgerald Avenue);
- will provide places of interest, artworks and a range of sensory experiences;
- will prioritise pedestrians and cyclists;
- will see the river widened and restored to ecological health, with native plantings and landscaped gardens among the features along its path.
‘Watermark’ is the first section of Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct to be designed and constructed. This early development site spans the river’s true left bank between Antigua Boatsheds and Montreal Street and will provide a snapshot of how some elements of the river precinct could look and feel. The design for the Avon River Precinct will be further developed with community feedback helping to achieve a long-term vision for the precinct.
Stemming from over 100,000 community suggestions received via the ‘Share an Idea’ campaign, ‘Watermark’ aims to deliver the peoples’ aspirations for a ‘Green City’ and align with the design principles of Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct:
- promoting a healthy river;
- a fully accessible environment;
- an integrated cultural narrative;
- good economic potential
The construction of Watermark involves:
- a slight narrowing of the river and installation of features to promote and encourage river life;
- some re-contouring to provide improved pedestrian walkways and seating areas;
- hard and soft landscaping;
- new street furniture;
- new street and decorative lighting;
- pruning of large trees to improve the canopy (no large trees will be removed)
If you have any questions, or for any other information about work taking place at the Watermark site, please contact City Care on 0508 CITY CARE or email email@example.com