EOS Ecology is responsible for the ecology components of the Te Papa Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct (ARP) (a 3.2 km stretch of urban river promenade running through Christchurch’s CBD area), and the North/East Frame anchor projects (a 12 ha mixed-use development area bordering the east and north side of the CBD), which form a key part of Christchurch’s CBD rebuild following the 2011 earthquakes. As part of the successful Opus-led design consortium, we commenced the concept design phase in January 2013 and completed the detailed design work in November 2014.
We were tasked with ensuring ecology was a cornerstone of the design process. Our aim: to improve the health of the Avon River corridor, and by doing so bring back life to the CBD. Our philosophy: healthy river = healthy people.
Through our in-depth understanding of ecological principles and how they can integrate with urban and landscape design, along with our knowledge of the past and present ecology of the river and Christchurch landscape, we were able to provide key ecological design criteria needed to improve aquatic and terrestrial health, all the while enabling the creation of an outdoor multi-use space, so essential to a modern city.
IN-RIVER WORKS PACKAGE
A separate in-river works package was created following the concept design phase of the ARP, with a specific focus on improving health and mahinga kai values of the Avon River through the CBD. We were tasked with leading the programme, undertaking the developed and detailed design phases and overseeing construction.
Requiring an inherent understanding of waterway ecology and hydrology, our designs focused on not only improving habitat but also restoring essential river processes to ensure greater ecosystem functionality and reduced long-term management costs.
Our presence in the river during the construction phases ensures that the ecological designs developed on paper are realised on the ground. Developing methods for gravel cleaning, on-site training and education of construction personnel, and continual oversight of the in-river construction are all part of our daily job.
The in-river works package started with Watermark (the first 225 m of river revitalisation that was officially opened on the 29 August 2013), followed by Phase 1 (completed May 2014) and Phase 2 & 3 (started in October 2014).