Proposals for a suburban subdivision in Christchurch, New Zealand : a major design study submitted for the Diploma of Landscape Architecture in the University of Canterbury [Lincoln College]
Since World War II Christchurch has experienced a prolonged period of expanding urban boundaries and suburbs. In the process, the considerable increases of population of this time have been housed adequately according to the standards of acceptable public health, but there has grown also dissatisfaction with the type of life experienced in the suburbs. Vague criticisms of it are common in the small talk we hear; mental illnesses are of high incidence, and have even collected their own name - "suburban neuroses." For even so-called well adjusted citizens the desire to leave the suburbs and spend leisure time at baches, beaches, on boats, or "in the country", suggests that our suburban homes do not provide the levels of rest or satisfaction or achievement necessary for a whole life. Generally, although reasonably good standards of home life have been possible within individual home units, the social community of all units collectively does not appear to have matured apace, and is proving undesirably sterile and divisive. The suburbs are perhaps too much a collection of castles, and not enough a collection of people. On the other hand, questions are also being raised as to the economic desirability of spreading the city so wide in the cost both of land lost to farming and of providing essential services at such low densities. And in Christchurch these problems are all compounded by the completely flat topography on which the major part of the city is built, leading to visual problems of greater importance than in some other New Zealand cities. This present study will deal with the social part of the suburbs - that outside the house, and including private yards, streets, and other public land. Its aim is to investigate ways to increase people’s satisfaction with their suburbs, mainly dealing with the visual concerns, but including others where suitable. A look will be taken at how and why the suburbs arose as they have, and then the present - day scene will be summarised. Then, after discussion on methods of improvement, a specific site will be taken, and designed, to illustrate the application of the principles evolved back onto the ground.... [Show full abstract]
KeywordsChristchurch; Styx Mill; New Zealand; subdivision; landscape architecture; landscape design; urban design; urban development; city planning; regional population change; residential expansion; city expansion; housing development; Town and Country Planning Act 1953; suburban types; urban demographics
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