Alexandra Stream Cycle Path
The Auckland Council has instigated a programme of cycle way construction, not along existing roads, but alongside urban streams. These are unused, often contaminated, certainly forgotten landscapes in the Auckland region. Local authorities already own land, reserves, parks, and riparian rights, along many of the stream corridors. The effect of inserting cycleways into these fragments is to make a new public space for the citizens of Auckland. Going beyond the simply programmatic, BMLA has worked on a number of cycleway projects on the North Shore of Auckland. The recently completed Alexandra Creek Cycleway illustrates how BMLA saw the creation of the new cycle path as an opportunity to provide a multiuse space, areas for sitting, native planting, stormwater cleansing ponds, security lights, art works, and exercise machines. Alongside the social programme BMLA acknowledged the specificity of the site, the terrain, native vegetation, and overland flow paths. The minutia of site specifics were recognised with specific design and materials decisions; bridging ephemeral streams with oversized timber bridges, preserving fragments of native vegetation with sheet piling retaining, and using soft engineered geotextile grid retaining to connect to existing planting.