Maps make exploring Town Belt easier

On the map . . . Dunedin City Council policy analyst Junichi Sugishita holds a laptop showing the new interactive maps with information about the city's Town Belt. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Exploring the Dunedin Town Belt has been made easier after the release of interactive maps.

The Town Belt Story Map, created by the Dunedin City Council, gives people a range of walking tracks to choose from, which showcase playgrounds, parks, historical artefacts and landmarks.

The Town Belt is the city’s oldest reserve and covers 200 hectares.

Council policy analyst Junichi Sugishita said the maps would help increase accessibility and encourage people to explore the Town Belt.

While many people were aware of the Town Belt, the council wanted to encourage greater use of the “special part of the city”, Dr Sugishita said.

“To know something leads to appreciation, which in turn leads to its protection, and the Town Belt is definitely worth protecting.”

On the tracks are the Department of Conservation’s UrbanNature panels, which describe seasonal changes happening in the city.

The map also includes bus routes and timetables, so people can plan their route.

A variety of stakeholders helped develop the map, including the Dunedin Amenities Society, for which the council was “very grateful”, Dr Sugishita said.

Society president Paul Pope said the society was delighted with the initiative and hoped it would give people a greater understanding on the Town Belt.

“More importantly, we hope people will visit and enjoy the reserve and make use of its many recreational opportunities.

“The Town Belt is a genuine historical and biodiversity treasure of our city that was designed to give pleasure and contemplation for its citizens.”

The maps can be found on the council website.