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A comprehensive study of the Styx River and river catchment with regard to its recreational value

Lincoln College, University of Canterbury
Publication Date
  • Rivers
  • Recreational Use
  • Styx River
  • Landscape


The city of Christchurch is proud of its rivers, the Avon and Heathcote. Although a conspicuous element within the city, their real potential is largely unrealized. Urban development along the upper portions of these rivers and their tributaries has caused the rivers to become largely inaccessible to the public. Roads and buildings dominate the river because of their closeness to it. The opportunity of emphasizing the rivers in developing the city has been largely ignored. A green space pattern might have been used to divide neighbourhoods, to provide a rural atmosphere within the city linking it to the countryside, to provide a logical pattern to sports-fields placement, and to emphasize the character of the city. The Styx river, situated immediately north of Christchurch, is already being subjected to urbanization. At a time when Government is preparing a ???Come Alive" campaign, encouraging New Zealanders to fulfil mental, spiritual and physical needs outside their daily obligations, it is fitting that a study of the Styx river area should be conducted, with emphasis on its recreational possibilities. Now that we have the benefit of daylight saving, new opportunities exist for the recreational use of the evening. The closeness of the Styx river area to Christchurch would mean that this area could be used for evening leisure activities as well as during weekends and holidays. The increasing size of the urban population is another factor in planning for recreational areas. The Regional Park concept, in which natural areas of sufficient size and beauty close to urban populations are preserved for recreational use, could be conceived for Christchurch, and should consider the Styx area.

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