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Students provide fresh ideas to Franklin Local Board

Unitec teams devise solutions

Published: 20 June 2019

Unitec landscape architecture students have delivered fresh ideas to Franklin Local Board on Clevedon and Hunua development issues.

The third-year students focused on trails around Clevedon and through the Hunua Ranges, on the Wairoa River and Clevedon Village.

The initiative brings Unitec, Auckland Council, board staff and community representatives together to respond to real issues.

Board chair Angela Fulljames says last year students looked at issues in Beachlands and Maraeteai and their fresh thinking challenged traditional approaches and methods.

"If you don’t remain open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking, you are constraining the range of solutions available to you," she says.

"The students weren’t afraid to put forward fresh ideas and challenge our thinking, so it’s a pleasure to have them look at problems in a new area, and they again came up with innovative solutions."

The students presented their ideas to Healthy Waters, council plans and places officers, parks staff, board members, Deputy Mayor Bill Cashmore and Clevedon community leaders.

"They were impressive, well-researched, confident in their ideas and willing to engage and take on feedback and other suggestions," Mr Cashmore says.

"The interesting thing is that they have few constraints. Their thinking isn’t limited by ‘you can’t do that’ rules. They see a problem and get on with identifying a way to fix it or improve a situation."

Landscape architecture lecturer Sibyl Bloomfield says students submitted masterplans and design responses while engaging with the community to gauge the level of acceptance and relevance of their ideas.

“This is about exposing students to real challenges and having them develop relationships with real clients.”

Site analysis and master plans were completed in groups before individuals developed small projects out of the plans. 

Two teams presented master plans and all students presented their own projects, covering a range of topics including creating pathways, cycleways, stormwater management, flooding and the health and future of Te Wairoa.

"The work generated is a testament to their efforts," Ms Bloomfield says.

"The community’s response has been positive, with some of the students invited to visit Clevedon to present their work and be part of discussions about the future."

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