Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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From Cycleway to Urbanism: Planning for Coastal Cycleway

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posted on 2021-11-15, 13:34 authored by Roh, Donghwi

A strategic use of cycling to create liveable and healthier cities is increasingly common in cities across the globe and among forward-thinking urban designers, policy makers or political entities who often improve bicycle infrastructure and install bicycle supporting policies to augment urban cycling (Pucher & Buehler 2012). Yet, cycling can do more than improving urban mobility and health. As pedal-powered vehicles are also means for cultural and artistic expression, subcultural social interaction (Fincham 2007), economic opportunity and urban servicing (Lorenz & Bufton 2011) which is reflected in geographically distinct bicycle cultures (Pelzer 2010). There is an increasing focus on cycle planning by local and regional governments throughout New Zealand. However there is a tendency to design cycle route in isolation, not approaching it as an urbanistic issue. In August 2014, Prime Minister John Key has announced $100 million in new funding that will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres. There is strong growth in cycling trails internationally, and in New Zealand there is also strong demand for family based cycling activities and products. Should more cycleways be provided and improved, and if so, how should they be planned? My project will attempt to go beyond the set aims to create more urbanistic approach to cycleway.  This research draws upon an idea of the Great Harbour Way (GHW) - Te Aranui o Poneke, initiated by group of walkers and cyclists being a concept to develop and market a 75km shared pedestrian and cycle path around the shoreline of Wellington Harbour. The project aims to promote a walkway and cycleway as an enjoyable and convenient form of travelling around the harbour of Wellington, New Zealand. However, the way it has been conceived, the GHW undermines its possibilities. Our cycling infrastructure needs to evolve not only from transport or engineering perspective but also with architecture perspective to respond to those changing demands on the issues of cycleway planning. This aim of this study is to provide a greater ambition towards GHW by planning orientated research which could increase the numbers, activity of and engagement of cyclists with a particular focus on the Great Harbour Way cycle route.  Firstly, the thesis briefly goes over the current status of cycling, addressing the increasing popularity and role of utilitarian cycling in Wellington. Secondly, the study will review and discusses previous cycling planning theories and discuss different models of cycle route planning. In this part, it will also take the project of New Plymouth Coastal Walkway, and Norwegian National Tourist Routes as a case study, discussing the planning strategy of how to implement cycling in our city. The case studies show that the entire visitor experience is important, not just the cycling aspect. This is particularly true for those markets whose primary motivation is not cycling. Accommodation, services, information, scenic values and other activities combine to make the experience more appealing to a broader range of visitors. Thirdly, the thesis proposes a cycling supportive architectural interventions at three different sites and scales to catalyse the GHW project. Last part of the study tried to resolves the complex access problems of the site through integrated planning/landscape architecture thereby creating a usable, functional and adaptable plan for the Wellington to Petone link. Conclusions of the design proposals and future suggestions are included in the last chapter.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Connolly, Peter; Danielmeier, Tobias