A public intervention in Marlborough

Pause Park is the first permanent intervention to be delivered as part of a programme of public realm upgrade works in Renwick, a small semi-rural township in the ‘heart of Marlborough's wine country’.

Like many small settlements scattered across Aotearoa, Renwick’s town centre is also located at the junction of two state highways. Not such a problem 50, 25 or even 10 years ago, however an ever-increasing rise in vehicle trips have slowly eroded the identity and character of Renwick, and the once village-like aesthetic has been replaced by a public realm that prioritises cars over people.

A concept drawing for Pause Park - which sets out to cater to walkers and cyclists making their way between wineries.

A concept drawing for Pause Park - which sets out to cater to walkers and cyclists making their way between wineries.

Recognising this changing fabric Marlborough District Council commissioned AitkenTaylor to work closely with the community of Renwick to develop a vision and a range of strategies to transform Renwick back into a place for people.

Renwick was a small town but was facing big city problems.

Renwick was a small town but was facing big city problems.

For the residents of Renwick this means celebrating their place as the heart of Marlborough’s wine country, better supporting pedestrian movements and cycle trips and strengthening connections between the built and natural environments.

The strategy aims to return Renwick as a township for people, not just cars.

The strategy aims to return Renwick as a township for people, not just cars.

The result has been the identification of a suite of projects, driven by the community, that seek to take back ownership of their public spaces and reflect their desire for more 'human' and social spaces - places to come together and celebrate what it means to live in a small town.

Pause Park, one of the identified projects, marks Renwicks first step towards this change.

The team behind Pause Park wanted to strengthen the connection between the built and natural environment.

The team behind Pause Park wanted to strengthen the connection between the built and natural environment.

Bio: Den Aitken is the Director and Design Principal at AitkenTaylor. He is a registered landscape architect with broad experience across local government, academia and private practice.