Type of project: Community Co-Design Project
Collaborator: We Are Richmond, Richmond Community Gardens, Avebury House, Avon Ōtākaro Network
Sponsors/Funders: Christchurch City Council , Natural Paint Co., Stop Digging, Trees For Canterbury
Location: 51 Swanns Road, Cnr Woodchester Ave, 10 Shirley Road, with route in between
Completed: February 2021
Richmond Community Wayfinding is the first phase of a wayfinding route through Richmond and the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor. The project began in conversation in late 2019, and was designed and built with community members in 2020. The project encompasses two parkets, one at 51 Swanns Road at the entrance to the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor, and one at the corner of Medway/Woodchester Ave which is the midway point of the route, with a signboard at 10 Shirley Road. Our thanks to the enthusiastic cohort of community volunteers that participated in the co-design hui and the build for this project.
This is phase one of a wayfinding project which the community hopes to expand and make permanent in the coming years. The Green Lab’s way of working enables the quick installation of temporary infrastructure that serves to test an idea. We are Richmond and other local organisations will be able to check on how the parklets and the trail is used, and will determine future developments based on feedback from real world experience of a space.
The Swanns Road parklet is a simple source of information about things happening nearby. It has a bike stand and a table to picnic – it’s a place to pause, a start or an endpoint on the trail, or a place of discovery. The picket fence and blue house motif used as trail markers were chosen by the steering committee in reference to the houses that were lost after the Canterbury Quakes. The planting is majority native, with some introduced pollinator friendly plants; we are sure these will thrive under the care of the Richmond Community Gardeners.
The trail heads down along the river to the parklet at Medway. This has a custom built circular table with wayfinding encompassed in the design. Refurbished planter boxes have been utilised to create a contained space where folk can linger. The parklet is near Adventure Ave and other active sites in the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor. The trail then cuts through the suburb to the park at 10 Shirley road. It passes through parks and utilises pedestrian/cycle access ways. Route markers are created from recycled acrylic and painted in the trail’s signature light blue, and have been attached to power poles with permission from Orion. The route was determined by those with keen knowledge of local histories, and a later stage of creating QR codes linking to site information along the way is planned. Throughout the construction, we utilised recycled materials wherever possible and chosen timber that will weather to a natural aesthetic and the majority of the plants are natives.