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The Kelburn connection

Lincoln College, University of Canterbury
Publication Date
  • Kelburn
  • Townscape
  • Spatial
  • Visual
  • Landscape
  • Wellington
  • Communication


The city is an active organism that needs to link the past with the present. The city must have functional order and must cater for the needs of those who live in it. But the city must also preserve some continuity in time. The speed of modern development is such that the human mind cannot keep up with the changes in the environment. If new images can be absorbed, digested and incorporated so that the landscape is recognizable, the result is a sense of place and personal identification. There is a certain delight in 'knowing' and recognizing a place. The city is therefore a means of communication. What the observer sees - his composite mental image - is townscape. Townscape is a schematic perception of the city if the elements which make up the city are easy to assimilate. e.g. there is visual interest but not confusion, contrast but not visual anarchy, then the townscape will have 'imageability'. Kelburn, an inner city suburb has several functions in Wellington's townscape. It is a visual catchment and an identity area with clearly defined boundaries. It is also a microcosm of Wellington, containing some of the elements of the city which gives it a unique character. Finally, Kelburn is also a vital link between the city and the suburbs and between the city and its greatest recreational resource, the townbelt.

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