Website to be forum on city's design, architecture

A new website devoted to Dunedin design, architecture and urban design is expected to open next month, a product, in part, of debate about the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Its developer, Dunedin web designer Paul Le Comte, is behind the website, What if? Stadium of Dunedin, which has developed into a forum for some sometimes vigorous stadium debate.

Last year, stadium opponent and heritage advocate Elizabeth Kerr joined Mr Le Comte as a co-contributor, and she will also contribute to the new site.

The numbers visiting the site had risen to about 8000 a month in the past three months, Mr Le Comte said.

"Initially, this was to be a place to discuss all aspects of the design, architecture and town-planning issues surrounding the stadium development.

"Each time things other than the politics of the stadium were discussed, vibrant discussions took place, which got me thinking there needs to be a place where we can talk about Dunedin."

With city councillors, town planners and other professionals viewing or contributing to the stadium site, there was a need for a site dedicated to the wider issues of design, architecture, urban design, resource management and sustainability issues the city faced, he said.

Asked if there was enough interest in those issues, Mr Le Comte said he would not have thought so until they became lively subjects of debate on the stadium website, which has held discussions about everything from free internet in the city to the closure of Lovelock Ave for the expansion of the Dunedin Botanic Garden.

He planned to publish contributions from people, including professionals in the area, local body politicians and academics from the University of Otago.

There would be advertising on the new site, which had an Indian domain name of http://duned.in, and Mr Le Comte hoped to use any money earned to stage design forums in Dunedin.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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