What is Love Your Leith Round Two?

    We are opening the second round of Love Your Leith to get community and stakeholder feedback on the enhancement concepts that have been developed for the lower reaches of the Water of Leith. 

    Round 2: July-August 2018

    The second round will consult with the community on the potential concepts developed with input from the first round.

    The Leith Project Working Group has developed potential concepts for enhancement of the Forth Street – Harbour section of the Leith. Because of its length, it has been divided into three distinct sections, each with different design themes:


    Theme: Natural stream

    Key elements: Link with previous works upstream; centre channel wall removed and meandering stream created; naturalised banks with native planting to improve amenity and access to water; shared pathways linking with other sections, link with any other redevelopment in the area; ‘destination spaces’ i.e. seating, sculptures/artistic installations.


    Theme: Tidal estuary

    Key elements: Anzac Av underpasses connecting shared pathways; water level ‘destination spaces’, improve access to existing SH88 pathway, enhance existing beautification on the right bank; shared pathways assist with improving pedestrian/cyclist access to and from stadium.


    Theme: Connect to the sea

    Key elements: Link with DCC footbridge project; beautification/plantings of riverside with ‘destination spaces’; access to headland point improved; safer access for fishing.

    What are the next steps?

    After consultation for round 2 closes, all feedback will be collated and reviewed. Any changes required will be made. The Working Group will recommend concepts in a final report to ORC Council for implementation. That will involve further technical refinement and design, prioritisation, funding and consenting. Because of the large scale of this section, any enhancements are likely to be constructed in stages.Given the possibility of linking with other projects in the vicinity, there may be opportunities for collaborative partnerships between ORC and other key stakeholders.

    Who designed the concepts?

    The Leith Project Working Group developed a comprehensive brief based on community input from round one, their organisations feedback, and ORC requirements such as those regarding hydraulics, flood protection, ecology. This brief informed the landscape architects.

    ORC engaged landscape architect Mike Moore to bring the community’s and the Working Group’s vision to life. Dave Compton-Moen from DCM Urban Design Ltd supported him. Mike Moore was involved with the Leith works done in front of the University clocktower (St David St – Union St reach completed in 2015).

    How can I have my say?

    There are two ways you can give feedback on the concepts:

    1.  Visit the exhibit display at the Polytech Hub and leave a ‘love note’ on the display with the Post-it notes supplied. This will be open until 9 August.

    2. Online via YourSay – at 'My Feedback' tab on home page.

    How is the project being funded?

    Enhancement works will be funded by general rates levied on all ratepayers of Dunedin City. This project is for all of Dunedin. 

    What part of the river is the Love Your Leith project for?

    This project is for the 'tail-end' part of the Leith, from Forth St out to the harbour. Often recognised for it's double channel and concrete environment, it begins just outside Gregg's Coffee Factory. It flows through campus (past Art School and College of Education), past the Stadium and out to sea. 

    On the map below, it is the pale blue section:

    What is the Leith Flood Protection Scheme?

    This long-term project is managed by the Otago Regional Council to reduce the risk and impact of flooding on the Water of Leith. 

    It is now reaching the final stages. Current flood protection works are underway on the bend underneath the Information Technology Systems (ITS) building (shown in bright yellow on the map below). 

    The amenity stage of the Leith Flood Protection Scheme, the Love Your Leith project is for the lower reaches of the river, between Forth St and the Harbour (shown in pale blue on the map below). 

    Will there still be adequate flood protection after this project?

    Yes, absolutely. Any viable design concept will not compromise the flood protection and capacity of this section of the Leith.

    The final concepts must fulfil key ORC principles, meet public and stakeholder expectations as best possible, improve synergy with previous works and be feasible from a design, compliance and safety perspective. This is also an interesting project from a climate change perspective. Because the area is at the river mouth, the final designs must factor possible sea-level rise and the impacts of our changing environment. 

    How has the Leith been used in the past?

    Flood protection:
    The flood-prone river has been subjected to various flood protection works since the early 1900s. The second channel creating the double channel between Forth St and Anzac Av was constructed around 1939. 

    Otago Regional Council:
    The ORC manages the Leith Flood Protection Scheme to help reduce the risk of floods. This project has spanned over a decade and is nearing completion. 

    Students have used the Leith as a playground since the University of Otago was founded. There was the Bike Race, Selwyn College's yearly Bath Tub Race and the Kayak Club are often seen out on the Leith when it rains.

    As a canvas:
    Graffiti along the Leith is common, especially along the concrete walls of the Forth St to Anzac Av channels, and further up in the high velocity channel between George St and the Botanic Gardens. 

    For the past six years, the Rotary Charity Duck Race has been happening on the Leith. This fundraising event is run by Dunedin East Rotary for Cure Kids, Red Cross and Rotary community projects. Check out the race from 2017 below.