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Hamilton, as medium sized city in Netherlands.

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In the Netherlands there are about 17 medium-size cities with between 100,000 and 250,000 inhabitants.

Comparing Hamilton NZ to medium sized cities in the Netherlands, Hamilton is one of the most medium of medium sized cities.

Even Hamilton’s 14-89m elevation would not be out of place: Enschede is sited on land 42m above sea level, with a hill reaching 85m above sea level within 10 km of its centre, and the hills around Nijmegen and Arnhem are in the order of 50-80 metres.

Arnhem itself is sited 14m above sea level, with a hill reaching 110m above sea level within 10 km of its centre. In addition, its 100 km distance to Holland’s leading large city, Amsterdam (and only 115km to Rotterdam) is similar to Hamilton’s 125 km distance to New Zealand’s leading city, Auckland.

Hamilton as city in Netherlands

All medium-size cities invest in themselves differently. Could density be the most limiting factor in a city’s economic growth, wealth and health – should we encourage people to work and live closer together?

Category: Demographics, News, Planning

Opoia, Jesmond Park to Claudelands Bridge

Hamilton’s River Plan Objective is ‘For Opoia to be developed as a medium-density residential area (by the private sector) with the provision for public access and a strong connection to the river and central city.’

In 2008 the ‘Hamilton City Heart Revitalisation Project’ explained (7.10 & 7.11) Opoia is ‘within the walk-able catchment of the CBD’ and ‘Currently this area has less than ideal access … constraint to redevelopment is access … doing nothing will not result in land use changes’ and ‘a pedestrian link encompassing a river reserve would be a fundamental requirement for redevelopment of this area’.
Key findings (p95) included – ‘limited by poor connectivity to Claudelands Road, topography issues preventing connections through Opoia. Subsequently development is expected to occur relativity slowly given access difficulties’ (more information in staff comments at end of post). Looking at the quote about topography issues to Claudelands road, below is a check of access difficulties. I have found it possible to provide an accessible path through Jesmond Park between Opoia road and Claudelands road. Topography issues are not the reason Opoia has poor connectivity.

In the Hamilton City Centre Local Area Plan: Oct 2012 – (p6) ‘Opoia has been included because of its close proximity to the central city’. (p15) ‘Improved connections can be achieved through extended street-scaping and pedestrian amenity – with green fingers extending out from the central city’. (p28) ‘Medium density residential development (up to 5 storeys) will be promoted in Opoia, due to the areas close proximity to the central city, views of the Waikato River, and sunny aspect. Current access difficulties into this area will need to be addressed in order to ensure increased residential densities in this area’. (p34) ‘There are currently three pedestrian entry points in to Opoia Precinct, via Riro Road, from Soldiers Memorial Park through Parana Reserve, or from Claudelands Bridge, through Jesmond Park to Opoia Road. Activate Jesmond Park through increased residential density and appropriate edging to enliven this central city park and increase safety / usability of the pedestrian connection between Opoia and the Claudelands Bridge.’

The 2012 idea ‘with green fingers extending out from the central city’ fits so well with ‘Hamilton city council climate change’ commitment: ‘we’re encouraging people to move around our city using active transport’.

Hamilton City Heart Revitalisation Project: May 2008 – staff comments.

Category: News