Climate adaptation project to provide a list of options

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The ongoing inter-municipal project to help South Dunedin adapt to climate change is expected to produce a “high level” list of options by the middle of next year, its program manager has said.

However, South Dunedin Future program manager Jonathan Rowe told Otago regional councilors that the four-year work program would not necessarily produce a large capital project requiring a lot of external funding.

The program itself was not intended to come up with “a whole bunch of adaptation stuff” for the lower suburbs, requiring budget for projects outside the normal operations of the regional council or its project partner, the city council of Dunedin, Mr Rowe said.

It would produce a framework for a range of council departments “in a way that begins to integrate climate adaptation into their day-to-day work”.

“That way… you start knocking down the supertanker which is the two boards.”

The two councils this month gave the go-ahead for the work; the two had also earlier approved their share of funding for the $920,000 per year program in their respective long-term plans.

Nevertheless, funding for any major projects suggested by the program was at the forefront of discussions at the regional council last week, as were “practical solutions”.

Councilor Bryan Scott said he was interested in practical solutions and wanted to know when they would be discussed.

Consideration of at least part of South Dunedin’s now unused Forbury Park for a wetland was a well-documented opportunity, he said.

Ideally, from the framework created by Mr Rowe’s team, the council could be able to take advantage of any opportunities as they arise “like Forbury Park”.

“In my opinion, the sooner it happens, the better,” he said.

Mr Rowe said that by the middle of next year the program should produce a high-level list of adaptation options.

The regional council’s work on natural hazards served as the basis for the programme.

Added to this were the “socio-economic characteristics” of the lower suburbs.

A third layer of the program would be adaptation options, he said.

“Over the next 18 months to two years, I think the program could have a material impact,” Mr Rowe said.

Providing an example to Cr Scott, Mr Rowe said the City Council’s property team had recently sought advice on a potential property purchase in South Dunedin.

Although the South Dunedin program team were not as advanced as they should have been in making specific recommendations, they were able to provide some general observations.

“If the property has a number of DCC properties around it we would consider that a higher priority because then you could get a larger group and that would create a larger area which you could then use at a later stage as a transition from that land use to, say, green space,” Rowe said.

“So if it was a social housing development and it needed to be renewed, you could say ‘OK, well, we’re going to look at an option of – instead of renewing it, we could do that. move to green space and look at another green space in another area of ​​South D that is low risk, and we could turn it into housing and get new modern housing.”

He said selling Forbury Park wasn’t exactly in his “patch”, but he had harbored similar views to Cr Scott in the process.

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