New landscape plan for campus approved

The University of Otago has approved a plan to upgrade its Dunedin campus to provide a better outdoor environment for students and staff.

The recently approved ''Landscape Development Plan'' includes new plantings, paving, street furniture and trees, more outdoor space and the remodelling of key routes to provide better access for pedestrians and cyclists.

Otago University property services director Barry Mackay said the university hoped to begin implementing the plan next year, with an upgrade to the Union St bridge.

The rest of the plan would be carried out on an individual project basis, Mr Mackay said.

''It is hoped that the plan ... will improve the university's outdoor environment for work and relaxation and provide better facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, while maintaining iconic landscapes such as the registry lawn,'' he said.

The plan would also give the university a more cohesive ''look and feel'' and improve the connections between the campus and the rest of Dunedin.

The Union St bridge project would involve resurfacing the bridge, new plantings and street furniture. ''This will vastly improve the appearance and pedestrian connectivity of this busy area in the heart of the campus,'' he said.

The overall plan also incorporated the Otago Regional Council's flood protection works for the Water of Leith, which recently began on campus.

The overall cost of the plan was not yet known, Mr Mackay said.

The plan was developed by property services and Christchurch consultants Polis Group in 2010 and last year.

Students and staff were consulted about the plan in a survey.

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