The Whau West Greenway (WWG) Proposal 2012
A Community Led Project in collaboration with Auckland Council.
The proposed Whau West Greenway would extend from the existing Te Atatu/North West cycleway through to Olympic Park in New Lynn. A distance of some fifteen kilometres.
The 3m wide off road cycleway/walkway would follow the riparian edge of the Whau River as part of a linear river park. The Whau West Greenway (WWG) provides an opportunity for cyclists, walkers, skaters, and families to use such an route to move safely between their home, school, work, or from one neighbourhood to another. The WWG can be enhanced with amenities such as park seats, picnic areas, or playgrounds.
The WWG would restore environmental quality, provide economic benefits such as local tourism, increased ecological/aesthetic values, community liveability and improve the quality of life for peoples enjoyment.
The WWG can help to connect local communities to the outdoors and to each other, forging partnerships for a sustainable future. The project would link natural areas, historic sites, parks and open space providing benefits for conservation, recreation and economic development while enhancing the quality of life for people of all ages, abilities and economic means.
The Whau River and surrounding environment is a severely degraded urban landscape, with small pockets of regenerating remnant bush patches. Invasive environmental weeds are a major problem. Re-vegetated areas using locally occurring native plants will help to restore and maintain key ecological processes in a contemporary landscape.
With the rising concern over environmental degradation, a key focus of the WWG project would be to reverse the degradation by including a major environmental rehabilitation programme.
The WGG project would not only give protection to remaining habitats but also have the potential to link natural areas together and to straddle and give protection to the river and its streams. Therefore the WGG could have the capacity to alleviate the affect of habitat loss and fragmentation.
Perhaps the greatest value of an inter-connected green space system such as WWG is the financial benefit that may be gained when green infrastructure and the biological processes they host, reduces the need for built infrastructure. The WWG system can provide numerous storm-water management benefits, including water storage, carrying, and filtering storm water runoff before it enters the Whau River.
The WWG concept articulates the benefits of open space and emphasises the need for a up-front vision that incorporates public input and includes leadership to move implementation forward.