Activating the edge: Investigating landscape architectures potential to utilise transport infrastructures public life generating ability
Transport infrastructure is a key aspect of any city. The ability to move large groups of people into and through the city can positively or negatively affect the public life associated with that city. With this in mind transport infrastructure is often designed in a very technical manner, which seeks to move maximum numbers of people around the system as fast as possible for the least amount of money. There seems to be a lack of embrace of other aspects associated with transport infrastructure. These other aspects include public life, place making, enjoyment, and what is the transport adding to the city? With the population of New Zealand’s cities increasing, more money is being allocated to transport infrastructure projects. With a change in approach these projects could work functionally but also offer other benefits, such as public life, new development, enhanced identity, and importantly a more liveable city for the inhabitants. Instead of the functional aspects of transport infrastructure being the only driver, a more holistic approach should be utilised which takes into account the social and public life generating potential. Wellington City has been chosen as a test site as it is an example of a city currently going through transport infrastructure upgrades whilst also struggling with future transport issues. Situated in a unique harbour setting the waterfront is split from the CBD with a traffic heavy six-lane road. The harbour offers a transport resource that is not being utilised. Ferry transport offers a new approach to transport in Wellington that offers greater benefits than just moving people around the system. This thesis proposes a fresh look at transport infrastructure in Wellington with the development of a ferry network designed to service the entire Wellington Harbour. Through researching the development potentials offered by transport networks this thesis argues that a holistic approach to transport infrastructure can have wider reaching benefits that just moving people around the system efficiently.