Walking the Gully - Designing Journey Pathways with the Ngauranga Gorge
The ongoing outward expansion of cities and desire to make them pedestrian friendly faces difficulties when confronted by certain landscapes, especially when a car dominant highway infrastructure has a grasp on gully landscapes. Disconnection of pedestrians is frequently observed in highway infrastructure; however, it becomes exaggerated by the large and steep topography of gullies. This displays the lack of walkability that has resulted in the overlap of designed highway infrastructures within urban gully landscapes.
This project researches how the body used as a design tool can attend to the sublime quality present in urban gully landscapes and enhance the transit of walking by means of a journey to connect the bodily and temporal experiences to the severed landscape. The overall ambition for this research is to empower the pedestrian within infrastructural spaces that currently do not favor them, whilst connecting the walker experience to the gorge landscape.
Taking the Ngauranga Gorge north of Wellington City as a testing ground for this proposition the research spans three scopes:1. Strategic focus ensured integration of wider infrastructural influences of hydrology and movement corridors;2. Hydrological focus provided design potential for movement routes and aesthetic qualities of intimate walking experiences to develop whilst advancing stormwater management;3. Attendance to body relationships and intimacy of walking through a journey rather than designing to get from point A to B methodologically.
The research is a strongly process driven creating a methodology that aims on improving the walkability of the urban gully landscape. The methodology led to the design of two pathways, from nine proposed paths in the network scheme for the site.