In late March, as part of an ongoing programme aimed at improving technical knowledge, our Land Development team escaped the office to journey around Christchurch and review the different challenges experienced at some of the development areas that the team have been involved with. The trip was an opportunity to bring together our team members from both the Auckland and Christchurch offices to share knowledge, discuss ideas and plan for the team’s future. Jay Baththana, who has worked on both the Papanui Pak n Save site and the Homebase development was on hand to talk through the complexities of the issues experienced at the three sites.
The team first visited Foodstuffs South Island’s head office to see the new Papanui Pak’n Save site, which the team has been involved with over the last couple of years. Foodstuffs staff showed the Abley team around an old warehouse at this site, which will be demolished in the near future. We had the opportunity to climb to the top of the warehouse tower to see a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area and the transportation network – a rare opportunity in Christchurch.
While at Foodstuffs, the team discussed the considerations needed for access to supermarkets for different travel modes, including the importance of separating trucks from the general traffic. The team also discussed the impacts of COVID on operations and Foodstuffs’ efforts to improve resilience to earthquakes at their sites.
The next stop was the new Avonside Girls High School/Shirley Boys campus, where Abley was involved providing advice during the school’s development. Key learnings from this visit were the considerations needed for the pick up and drop off (PUDO) bays and school frontages. Schools are constrained environments that experience short, intense peak traffic periods, during which there is high pedestrian, cycle, and vehicle movement. The team discussed the considerations of where to locate PUDO areas and how best to achieve a balance between space requirements and the surrounding environment.
Lastly, the team headed over to the Homebase shopping centre, where further retail development will occur. Here the team discussed the implications of adding more shops, the assumptions made for the traffic signal design, and how it will impact the transportation network. Ideas were discussed regarding the implementation of cycle provisions.
Overall, this was a great opportunity for the team to explore first-hand the challenges of different land uses and sites. No two developments are the same and this team specialises in providing tailored advice for how to provide safe, efficient transport and access for everything from simple subdivisions to complex developments.