Following fast on the footsteps of the previous post on Courtenay Park, which some are labeling as ‘grim’, I’d like to put forward another contender for the title of ‘grim urban park’: yes, that of the SLOAP that is the ‘park’ of the Bypass. I’m not sure that Transit, the designers of mighty roading projects, have really got the hang of designing places for people yet. Seen here, on the edge of the aptly homonymous Karo Park, is an effort at doing some landscaping, with carefully placed traffic, facing into the bypass. 


Far be it for me to deride the abilities of other landscape designers, but I have a feeling that these seats are not going to get much use. Has anyone ever been seen using it? The saddest thing is: the one on the other side of the crossing is even worse. It made me so depressed that I couldn’t even bear to take its picture. At least this has a small shrubbery behind it.

It’s a firm argument that landscape design should be left up to landscape architects, and not tackled by roading engineers. So here is the latest park designed by (arguably) Wellington’s best landscape architecture practice, Wraight and Associates, as reported in the Dominion Post this week:


The Dom Post report noted that the ‘Urban Archipelago’ as it is named, could also include a ‘small transparent cafe with exhibition space’ but that already this could face cuts – it seems a shame to announce a possible cut on the same day to announce the actual scheme. Why not just build the scheme in total? We’ll post more on this scheme as it comes to hand.