Topic: Basic shape of new city is outlined

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A central commercial seam surrounded by residential areas with industry located in the northwest, across the railway line, is the broad concept of Rolleston. Source: Christchurch Star, Wednesday October 8, 1975

In its report the planning group has outlined the shape and form of the future city, but detailed planning will be left until the second phase. The group emphasises, however, that the plan can be altered to suit future needs and developments.

The central seam, which is planned on poorer soils parallel and to the immediate east of Dunns Crossing Rd, would provide locations for activities to serve the town as a whole and the local region. These activities include major shopping, civic and cultural centres, important education facilities such as the secondary school and community-college and other major social amenities, recreation and entertainment facilities.
The central seam' should be located adjacent to areas of environmental interest such as major tree groupings, provide good access and an attractive "face" at a point of high accessibility to the whole city, direct access to transport routes and be easily serviced in the early years of development. The Dunns Crossing Rd site met these criteria, the group said.

The community facilities which were not in the seam would be those needed at local levels. These included shops, schools, churches and small industrial sites and recreation areas which could be included in one centre for local needs. Specific locations would be studied in phase two of the planning, the group said.

Three categories of industry were defined, activities which were transport-orientated and environmentally demanding because of noise or traffic generation would be located away from the town on the inland side of State Highway 1 straddling the West Coast railway link. Industries which required large sites, but which were compatible with town activities could be located around the edge of the city as a buffer between the rural and residential areas. These would provide jobs for people who wanted to work close to home.

Smaller industries which had no environmental demands could be dispersed in groupings throughout the town in areas of good accessibility, within local activity centres or in the central seam.

In its report dealing with transport the group said that .the main north-south highway should be located to the north of State Highway 1. A second route serving Rolleston and Christchurch should use the existing Shands and Selwyn Roads. A grid road system was chosen for the main routes within the town. The local roads serving residential developments will be developed within the blocks of the grids. City-wide bicycle and pedestrian ways are proposed, parallel to roadways but completely separate. The central commercial seam would include one major pedestrian and cycle pathway linking all facilities. The scale of the town would enable all residents to be within cycling distance of the central area, the group said. After discussions on public transport the group concluded that for many years Rolleston could only be served by buses runnng on town roads.

Much of the success of the town would rely on the design of local and especially residential areas. This will be particularly so in the early years of development. Higher density housing is proposed for the central seam and areas alongside close to the transport links adjacent to open space or near local activity centres. In general higher density housing, having a greater site coverage, might best be situated on the poorer soils. Very low density forms of housing, if desired, could be included on the edge of town. A mix of residential densities and housing types would be sought throughout all living areas, where possible.

The provision of social facilities was complex and ever changing. Alternatives considered by the group ranged from a total centralisation of facilities to a dispersed arrangement. A mixture of the two was proposed by the group, putting certain facilities in the seam and serving living and working areas by community facilities.

Open spaces such as botanical gardens and a town park could be included in the central seam with other serves and spaces to serve local needs throughout the town. A system of waterways opening out into lakes and ponds could be incorporated in the central seam with lateral streams running off into residential areas. The town edge'was a special problem, the group said.

Industrial areas which do not affect the rural area, low density housing, intensive horticulture and agriculture production could reduce pressure on both rural and residential areas. Landscaping along the road system in living and working areas has also been investigated. A major landscape corridor with the main waterway along the central seam will continue out into residential areas.

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