AUCKLAND’S URBAN FOREST

Rachel Butler 3RD YEAR

Green infrastructure addresses urban and climate issues through a network of natural and semi-natural features to support and maintain ecological services.

This project aimed to strengthen the relationship between the built environment and ecological systems due to recent and proposed projects occurring between the upper Manukau Harbour and Waterview, including Puketutu Island Landfill Rehabilitation, Onehunga Foreshore Reclamation and the State Highway 20 completion. A key issue was identified in light of these projects along with surrounding industrial context to address air quality and the growing consequences of impermeable landcover.

Further analysis identified the potential to create a carbon sink to offset CO2 emissions, this paired with mapping of open space surrounding State Highway 20 developed a concept of linking the future regional park, Puketutu Island to Cornwall Park, incorporating Ambury Farm Park, the proposed new Mangere Bridge and the Onehunga streetscape by developing an urban forest. This would create opportunites for people to walk or cycle between two major Auckland parks, while also providing ecological habitat and a potential community education resource.

The second phase of the project zoomed in on one aspect of the original moves, focusing indepth of how an urban forest could occur in one of Auckland’s premier parks; Monte Cecilia. The vision was to connect to the nearby Cornwall Park/ One Tree Hill domain via a heritage and tree trail which embraced the history of both sites, creating a stepping stone on the trail from Puketutu Island. The obelisk of One Tree Hill is visible from Mangere, as are the iconic tree tops from the pines of Monte Cecilia. This provided visual links across the entire site while also providing momentum for the concept of further planting on Monte Cecilia to ensure this link would withstand future decades.

The final design built on the existing rich tree heritage on the site while embracing the slope to create a natural amphitheatre which is sympathetic to the surrounding landform.