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Appreciating our town belt

Dunedin's town belt is a significant green asset but probably under-utilised.

The Town Belt in Dunedin curves around the central city in a green arc about 7 km long. Consisting largely of native bush and open parks and sportsfields, the town belt forms a break between the inner city and outer suburbs. The Town Belt Kaitiaki is a community group set up to support local schools to use the town belt for outside education, building student awareness of and engagement with the town belt. The group comprises some professionals with ambassadors from Dunedin primary and secondary schools.

A partnership between Town Belt Kaitiaki and our Communication Design students in early 2019 provided a good opportunity for project-based learning for the students, organised by Associate Professor Caro McCaw. After a presentation by Town Belt Kaitiaki representatives about their activities and goals, teams of students set out to learn more about the town belt and how they could help. The students applied their design skills to a range of projects:

  • Logo and brand identity, including production of a brand manual
  • Wayfinding and rubbish bins
  • Paper maps - prototypes produced for the north and south areas
  • Website - prototype produced
  • Mobile app - prototype produced
  • Character design, representing the 10 most common species in the town belt
  • Event planning - a planner was produced, for multiple events
  • Social media advice, to increase audience and audience engagement
  • Documentary

The students achieved a lot in the six week timeframe of the project. The results have been presented to the Town Belt Kaitiaki and were well-received. The logo is being used already on the Town Belt Kaitiaki Facebook page. This project is a finalist in the Student Engagement category of the 2019 Green Gown Awards Australasia.