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Silverdale Strategy Plan

2011

Connectivity and Integration

Proposed by Anna Bish, Rebecca Cray, Erin Fitzpatrick, Hailey Gill and Tanya Larson


Our aim is to achieve a well-connected landscape by increasing vegetation cover; while integrating a rapidly growing population within and around the township of Silverdale. We will achieve this by addressing traffic congestion and the lack of vegetation in the area.


1. The Region Auckland - Silverdale 2. Landscape Elements Natural, Physical and Cultural 3. Identifying Main Issues and Constraints Transport and Connectivity Case Studies 4. Growth Strategy for Silverdale Connectivity and Integration 5. References


New Zealand

Auckland Region

Larger Silverdale Extent


1.

The Region

Auckland - Silverdale

The Auckland Region is rich and diverse. It’s unique landscape, warm climate, multi-cultural population, and fantastic harbours make it a highly desirable city to live in. Much of the ‘Kiwi’ lifestyle revolves around the coast which has caused a ‘spine’ of urban spread running north and south of Auckland city. This has made Auckland the most dispersed city in the world. Recently, as the Metropolitan Urban Limits (MUL) have been reached, mixed use areas and intensification of land use have started to be utilised (Auckland Regional Council, 2010). Aucklander’s traditionally have lived primarily, in single-family dwellings. But with the increase of population that has been predicted by the Auckland City Council, some fairly blatant problems need to be addressed. Now, and in the years ahead, space, fuel consumption, its rising cost and traffic congestion are a few of the biggest problems Auckland face. Presently the Auckland region has 439,083 occupied dwellings and 33,354 unoccupied dwellings. It is predicted by the Auckland City Council, that 300,000 new dwellings will be necessary to house newcomers throughout the Auckland region by 2050.


It is stated within the Auckland Regional Plan that all those migrating to the region should “have the opportunity to choose housing appropriate to their needs,” and, “there should be variety in the location, type of tenure, means of financing and style of housing so that people can exercise choice.” (Curtis, 1982, Page 13). This should include affordable housing that provides amenities such as public space, open space and sporting facilities. These dwellings need to be in areas that have a ‘sense of place,’ provide employment, schools, and healthcare, but also to a great extent be self-sufficient. In essence, we wish to produce “a city which does not look like, but does work like an ecosystem.” (Bogunovich, 2010) Silverdale is situated 30 kilometres north of Auckland city. It is located on the north bank of Weiti River, inland from the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. It is the gateway to the Hibiscus Coast leading to a popular and busy tourist area. Originally called Wade, the area was thick with Kauri, and the town established itself around the gum industry.


As the gum industry declined, the clay soils were grassed over, and the population became predominantly farming families. The name of the area changed from Wade to Silverdale, because of the number of Silverbirch planted. (Lietchfield, 1996) Silverdale is presently undergoing a transformation with the aim of developing a new town centre, 3000 new dwellings (1% of the 300,000 dwellings required for Auckland), and a mixed commercial zone including retail and office areas, over the next 1015 years. The existing Silverdale is a metropolitan area with a low-density building footprint. It has a high-speed four-lane highway dislocating it and is not pedestrian friendly. The area lacks ecological connectivity. The current transformation plan hopes to solve these issues, however we are not convinced the plan will work.


2.

Landscape Elements

Natural, Physical and Cultural

The following maps look at Silverdale and the wider Auckland Region. A thorough investigation was made of the landscape, its natural boundaries, man-made interventions and ecological habitats.


The existing dwellings tend to follow the rivers. Some areas have many parcels but only one or few dwellings. The concentration of dwellings is on the coast, dispersing more as we get closer to the motorway.

Most of the population live by the coast - in Orewa, Red Beach and Manly.

The number of dwellings close to the Hibiscus Coast Road are greater than the other inland areas. Any building along the estuary, river and coastal edges need to be carefully planned and monitored.

Figure 1: Dwellings on the Hibiscus Coast.


The northwest train route does not connect to Silverdale. The motorway serves Silverdale, providing access to its western side. At present, there is very little development of minor roads in the southern areas of the map. They are mainly short residential roads with dead ends. The main motorway and the minor roads fail to form a pattern with catchment boundaries and appear to be randomly placed. It is interesting to note however, that many of the southern, northern and western roads on this map do tend to follow catchment boundaries, as does the rail network to some extent. There are the obvious concerns for unnatural road placement: draiage, runoff, slips,and instability, as well as accessibility and safety. Ecologically, road placement has critical impact which needs to be thorougly addressed, before development proceeds. Logistically, there are already huge concerns for Silverdale and Whangaparaoa Peninsula where a bottle-neck to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula induces peak hour traffic and congestion.

Figure 2: The Silverdale turnoff from the Northern motorway.


Silverdale’s water source comes from the Waitakere Ranges, via Auckland. There is an untapped water source southwest of Silverdale. The map on,facing page,shows the many stormwater drains, and how they lead to the three waste water outlets and into the sea. The following things enter the storm water and can have adverse affects on the waterways: - Copper from vehicle brake pads - Roof run off - Oil, grease and fuel - Industrial and domestic chemicals and detergents - Garbage, dumping and spillage - Herbicides, insecticides and fertilizers - Domestic animal waste - Grey water (in some cases)

Figure 3: An existing storm water pond in Silverdale.


The Silverdale MUL does not correspond with the local catchment boundaries or rivers. It appears this boundary may have been formed using unnatural boundary means (i.e. motorway) rather than delineated by natural features of the topography. The lack of a natural boundary incidence with the MUL makes it hard to define and even harder for others to see why development should be stopped at that particular place. There are proposals for an extension of the MUL.


There is one nearby water source which sits outside of the Silverdale MUL. It sits at approximately 9 kilometres to the south west of Silverdale, and is unused. The water supply for Silverdale is instead fed from Waitakere Ranges via Auckland.


Silverdale borders the Western extent of the M.U.L. boundary. Large flood plains exist to the south and west of Silverdale, with southern Silverdale facing possible threats from a smaller flood plain which borders this region. Assessment of areas suitable for development in Silverdale should allow particularly for the southern flood plain area. Flooding occurs reasonably regularly along John’s creek as well as at Small Road bridge and culvert just south of the bridge (Rodney Council, 2010).


Silverdale is devoid of any significant natural habitats, although there are some significant natural habitats distributed to the south, west and north within close proximity. The small sized bush lots along the western flank of Silverdale are reasonably insignificant in comparison to other neighbouring bush lots. Of interest is the connection between wading bird distribution and areas of high ecological value. This is important for Silverdale to plan for, as their waste and storm water is currently running through some of eastern areas. Storm water flows via numerous creeks either side of the motorway. Most of it is discharged into John’s creek or an unnamed stream, and then flows into Weiti River out to Karepiro Bay and eventually into the Hauraki Gulf. Presently the discharge is considered low (Rodney Council, n.d).

Figure 4: Pied Heron wading in the mudflats.


3.

Identifying Main Issues and Constraints Transport and Connectivity

The following maps depict issues involving transport, congestion and connectivity. There are also issues with the ecological connectivity in Silverdale and the wider Auckland Region.


This map details areas of high traffic flow and congestion. The central intersection of Silverdale is our main concern, as well as the Northern Motorway which connects Silverdale to central Auckland. It is of great importance to us that public transport systems be set up to address these issues. And in the future, links can be added to this system to fufil the needs of population growth. We have two priorities for our Structure Plan, rail is one of them. The first rail lines were put down in 1870. These headed South and West of Auckland city, and eventually headed North up the west coast. For the next seven decades, rail was heavily invested in. During the 1950’s, the motor vehicle became more accessible to people. Planning of Auckland turned away from rail in favour of the motorway. Networks of sealed roads were built to reach every individual dwelling (Auckland Regional Council, 2010).

Figure 5: Old train on the rural network.

There has been a revitalization of the railway in Auckland city (Isthmus and West). A massive upgrade of Britomart (the centre city bus and train station) has provided high quality and high frequency trains that has doubled the patronage since its completion in 2006. “For quality of life, Auckland consistently ranks in the top 10 with cities such as Vancouver. However, in respect of infrastructure provision, Vancouver ranks fifth, Auckland ranks in the bottom group at 46” (Auckland Regional Land Transport Strategy, 2010).

Figure 6: Traffic congestion on the Harbour Bridge.


Our second priority for the Strucure Plan is vegetation connectivity and integration of it within a growing population.The vegetation within the extent we have been investigating suggests a lack of connected forest and bush cover. Birds are a main means of seed dispersal and connectivity within New Zealand’s forests. Without a connected landscape, this vital process is restricted and in some instances becomes obsolete. The lack of vegetation also indicates riparian areas are not well protected against pollutants, are subject to erosion and additional sediment deposition. Landscape Ecologists suggest that the threshold for vegetation coverage be 30% (in New Zealand) to maintain bush vitality and healthy ecosystems. (Haines,March 2011). Our commitment to biodiversity and environmental responsibility requires us to ensure that forest and riparian vegetation remain a priority in any further development. In the future, we believe the whole of Auckland should be looked at, it terms of connecting the eceological patches. But for now, we are just focusing on the expansion of Silverdale.

The disconnected ecological landscape of the wider Auckland Region.


Transport Case Study Vancouver, Canada, a city with a population of 2.1 million, began working rail into its public transport plans when preparing for the 1986 World Expo. It now boasts the longest automated light rail network in the world, and is publicly funded. The Sky Train runs frequently and each stop is linked to a network of buses that deliver passengers to their various destinations. There are no parking lots at these bus stations. The Sky Train links the CBD to the airport as well as to a sea bus that carries passengers across the harbour to West Vancouver. The sea bus does not have the capacity to carry vehicles. Everyday, 350,000 passengers commute by Sky Train. Ridership rose to 622,000 everyday during the 2010 Winter Olympics (Sky Train, March 29 2011).

Figure 7: The Sky Train commuting passengers through the landscape, next to the old train tracks.

Many other cities use rail as a main artery for public transport, i.e. Milano, Paris, London, and San Francisco.

Figure 8: Above the city streets, with snowy mountains in the background.


Ecological Case Study Project Twin Streams, instigated by the Waitakere City Council (in 2003), in conjunction with the people of Waitakere, is a “major and visionary environmental project,” (Thomas, 2007). The aim is to rejuvenate 56 kilometres of riparian land and enhance it aesthetically while encouraging the people of Witakere to use it and manage it. By planting predominantly New Zealand natives, managing stormwater, and providing barriers between streams and land for human use. These natives plantings will help prevent erosion and toxins entering the water-way. They have developed storm water ponds to also help filter toxins.

Figure 9: Families with children making use of the walkways and cycle ways.

Waitakere City Council purchased the portions of privately owned land to “reduce flooding hazards and become stormwater management reserves,” (Project Twin Streams, 2011). The Council have involved the community, local residents, schools and businesses to take an active part in caring for our streams (Project Twin Streams, 2011). Along the streams, 9.2 kilometres of walkways and cycleways have been installed to make a connection between the streams and users. Since the project started, over 730,000 trees and shrubs have been planted in the banks by thousands of volunteers.

Figure 10: Involving the locals in community planting days.


4.

Growth Strategy for Silverdale Connectivity and Integration

Movement and dispersal of humans and natural systems. Integration of ecological connections and transport systems. Zoning in accordance with land use and natural features.


This shows our proposed extensions of bush and significant natural habitats needed to increase ecological connection across the landscape. It is our intention that in doing this we will aid and enhance the movement and dispersal of species across the greater Silverdale region. This will in turn increase the species populations within this landscape area to give it a richer ecological framework.


This details the new types and routes of transport that we believe are necessary to support the growth of Silverdale. The new rail network now connects central, western and nor-western Auckland, increasing logistical connectivity throughout the greater Auckland area. It is our intention that this rail network will enable Silverdale to develop its commercial and industrial sectors, as well as establish and important public transport system.

Figure 11: The ANZAC Centenary Bridge, aimed to be completed in 2015.

The Penlink solution (which is currently a Translink proposal) is something we also support as a way to relieve motorway congestion at the Silverdale intersection. It is a proposed 7km toll road from the Northern Motorway to Whangaporoa Road, on the Whangaporoa Peninsula, with a bridge over Weiti River. This proposal has had its funding cut by the present government, however it is possible that it will be reviewed in the future. Our outcomes have some reliance on the proposals of the ANZAC Centenary Bridge, recently placed in the National Infrastructure Plan. It boasts two tiers, 10 lanes, walking and cycling facilites, along with two light rail tracks. It is to be a toll bridge, and a good incentive to use public transport.

Figure 12: The proposed Penlink, crossing Weiti River.


Here we are depicting the proposed ecological connections with our proposed transport routes. We felt it was necessary to integrate these two systems together. We regard them as the two most important and influential factors for the way we want Silverdale to develop. The high importance we have placed on transport is essential for the Silverdale development. Without our proposed rail network and Penlink motorway extension, the development of the commercial and industrial sectors would be severely limited. Public transport would also be unsubstantial to support intense residential development within Silverdale. We have integrated ecology into this transport idea as they essentially show the same things: movement and dispersal across a landscape. It is basically a case of nature and man coming together cohesively, to shape a more efficient, resilient and sustainable landscape.

Figure 13: An example of transport integrated with ecology.


This is a closer look at the way in which we want ecology and transport to integrate within the Silverdale context. As the light green indicates, there are many areas where we want to increase ecological connectivity. To do this we have linked up bush lots and significant natural habitat areas, particularly where they coincide with stream corridors and estuarine banks. This increases the connectivity of the landscape, and also increases species ability to move freely and disperse seed across the landscape. We have increased ecological corridors particularly at our new transport junction, this serves many purposes: - Provides immediate conversion of carbon dioxide vehicle emissions into oxygen. - Allows human appreciation of our scenic/natural reserves. - Limits human access to these bush sites, (no mo torway off ramps to them) allowing regeneration and succession to occur with minimal distur bance. We want our ecological and transport solutions to provide a stable framework for the additional developmental areas that need to be integrated to form our Silverdale growth strategy.

Figure 14: Development in accordance to the natural shape of the landscape.


At this micro scale map, we see the intensified ecological connections, transport, dwellings and land use cover for the Silverdale extent. The land use cover is particularly relevant at this stage as we look towards formulating our growth strategy. The land use cover is the third most influential factor after ecology and transport. It drives the zoning of our Silverdale extent, as we want to use the land according to what it is best suited for. This solves the common planning issue of productive land becoming locked up by development. By using the land through its pre determined use we will maximise the efficiency of the landscape, and make it more sustainable and resilient (future – proofing).


From our ecological and transport integration maps we have derived a green belt, which forms a ring around the area we have set for development. This green belt consists of existing bush connections, which have been identified as ecologically important. The benefits of having a green belt enclosing development as opposed to a Metropolitian Urban Limit are: - It uses pre – existing natural boundaries - It further enhances ecological connection. - It is more concrete, unlike most Metropolitian Urban Limits, which can be constantly reposi tioned and extended to the councils liking (lead ing to problematic sprawl and other planning is sues). - It is a boundary that can be physically distin guished from within the landscape. Developers, residents and council staff will all be able to physically identify this green belt and understand its reasons for positioning and hence its impor tance.

Figure 15: An example of a green belt in Wellington, New Zealand.


Retired Land Auckland is spreading. Retired land is the existing vegetation and land we have identified could be enhanced. By creating areas of retired land and developing buffers and greenbelts, we are encouraging connectivity of the vegetation. At the same time, we are changing the appearance of the sprawl. The green belts follow rivers, valleys and the existing main areas of vegetation. In addition, the greenways will act as sound barriers, and be used to prevent erosion in necessary areas. These ecological connections in future developments could be enhanced and connect to the wider Auckland Region. Horticulture and Agriculture We have designated these areas for horticultural and agricultural purposes. This land tends to be flat to undulating, has good quality soil for crops and has good water retention. These areas could be used for fruit and vegetable production, farming, vineyards, farmers markets and community gardens. This will help Silverdale become more self-sufficient and will improve its ecological connectivity. Residential The Residential sites have been designated to areas with reasonably poor soil and undulating slope. It is anticipated that foundations and earthworks will retain stability. All but the existing Silverdale and Whangaparaoa boundary will be surrounded by vegetation of various densities and heights. They are positioned a reasonable distance away from the main road. Recreation, Open Space and Amenities We have used the arrangement of residential areas to designate appropriate areas for recreation and amenities. The methodology behind this is that recreation, open space and amenities will connect people in the community. This would encourage people to manage and use them. They also act as social drivers. These areas can be playgrounds and parks, botanical gardens, sports fields, cycle ways and walkways, churches, community centres, and swimming pools. Industrial and Commercial We have designated three main areas for industrial and commercial use. These areas are situated on non-arable soil types, tend to be prone to erosion and have a reasonable slope. There is a thin line of commercial area along the main roads. Industry backs on to the commercial, and is close to the residential areas. This will reduce travel time and traffic flow to and from areas of employment. These areas also have easy access to major roads and transport routes, including the proposed train line.


Retired Land Existing vegetation, stream buffers, green belts and additional connection enhancement. Horticulture and Agriculture Areas of suitable soil for productive purposes such as: grazing, crops, orchards, vineyards, and community gardens. Residential Land - Low Density Dwellings on low lying land with height restriction of two stories. Residential Land - Medium Density Dwellings on intermediate gradient land with height restriction of three stories. Residential Land - High Density Dwellings on high land and ridges with a height restriction of four stories. Recreational Areas Soft amenity areas for example: cycle and walk ways, parks, sporting fields, and botanical gardens. Amenities Hard amenity areas for example: community centres, swimming pools, churches, health and education centres. Commercial Land Commercial areas such as retail situated close to residential areas, adjacent to main roads. Industrial Land Industrial areas in existing locations, intensified and on sloped land. This land would be suited to primary industry (processing food and raw materials) and secondary industry (manufacturing).


Through an extensive observation and analysis of Silverdale, and it’s greater extent; the Auckland Region, we were able to indentify a range of issues and constraints in the landscape. These issues and constraints enabled us to define our main drivers, connectivity and integration. The ecological areas within the landscape lacked connection, causing a disjointed affect. The disconnection of the transport routes amplified this. To enhance Silverdale and connect the ecological areas and transport with the surrounding extent, we integrated ecological elements and transportation, which dictated a Growth Strategy at a micro level. The Silverdale Growth Strategy allows for better movement and dispersal of humans and natural systems in the Silverdale region.


5.

References

Text and Images

Auckland Regional Council, (2010). A brief History of Auckland’s Urban For. Prepared by the Social and Economic Research and Monitoring team. Curtis, B., (1982). Auckland Regional Plan. Chairman Regional Planning Committee. (No Publisher). Litchfield, J. & D., (1996). From the Wade to Silverdale: a Local History of the District and its School. Desktop Publishing and Compositing.

Bogunovich, Dr. D. (n.d.). Unitec. Haines, L. (March, 2011). Lecture Three. Unitec.

ANZAC Centenary Bridge. (n.d.). Bridge 2015. Retrieved on April 7, 2011 from Http://www.bridge2015.org.nz/ (April 7 2011) Ecosystems Forever Changing. (2010). Landscape Architecture New Zealand. Retrieved on April 7, 2011 from http://dirt.asla.org/2011/04/07/ecosystems- forever-changing/ Hobsonville. (n.d.). Waitakere City Council. Retrieved on April 7, 2011 from http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/abtcit/cp/hobville.asp Infrastructure. (2010). Infrastructure. Retrieved on April 7, 2011 from http://www.infrastructure.govt.nz/plan/march2010/04.htm#to cGovernment’sstategy_growth Project Twin Streams. (n.d.). Project Twin Streams. Retrieved on April 7, 2011 from http://www.projecttwinstreams.com


Silverdale, Auckland. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved on April 7, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverdale,_Auckland Silverdale: Catchment Management. (March, 2011). Rodney Regional Council. Retrieved on April 7, 2011 from www.rodney.govt.nz/DistrictTown Planning/plans/catchmentmanagement/Pages/Silverdale Sky Train. (n.d.). Downtown Vancouver. Retrieved on April 7, 2011 from http://www.downtownvancouver.com/directory/skytrain/ Sky Train, Vancouver. (n.d.). Sky Train. Retrieved on April 7, 2011 from http://www.skytrain.info/ Twin Streams. (n.d.). Thomas Civil Consultants. Retrieved on April 7, 2011 from www.tomascivilconsultants.co.nz/twinstreams.html Figure 1: Retrieved from http://www.water-technology.net/projects/armybay/images/2-hibiscus-coast.jpg Figure 2: Retrieved from http://metagini.com/location/New%20Zealand/Silverdale/107911/Pictures/ Figure 3: From personal collection of Erin Fitzpatrick Figure 4: http://www.google.co.nz/imgres?imgurl=http://files.myopera.com/garytmarsh/albums/717760/big%2520bird%25201.jpg Figure 5: http://polyland.calpoly.edu/topics/technology/studentsites/2006b/pictures/old%20rail%201 Figure 6: Retrieved from http://guide.localgovt.co.nz/graphics/trafficflow.jpg Figure 7: Retrieved from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/Skytrain-below.jpg Figure 8: Retrieved from http://cache2.artprintimages.com/p/LRG/29/2968/RB8QD00Z/art-print/doug-mckinlay-the-vancouver-skytrain-vancouver-britishcolumbia-canada.jpg Figure 9: Retrieved from http://www.projecttwinstreams.com/images/gallery/image-library/9.2%20kms%20of%20walk-cycleways%20constructed.JPG Figure 10: Retrieved from http://www.projecttwinstreams.com/images/gallery/image-library/52%20community%20planting%20days%20held.jpg Figure 11: Retrieved from http://www.aucklandtrains.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/bridgeclose.jpg Figure 12: Retrieved from http://www.projenz.co.nz/images/projects/penlink/bridge.jpg Figure 13: Retrieved from http://downtheroad.org/NewZealand/imagesBBB/Winky/DSC01057.JPG Figure 14: Retrieved from http://tour.thepeninsula.co.nz/images/gorgeair.jpg Figure 15: Retrieved from http://www.backpack-newzealand.com/nz-photos/showfull.php?photo=1280


Silverdale Strategy Plan