Otago Daily Times
Pete Hodgson, in the final part of a four-part series, looks at the impact a new hospital will have on the city.
The new Dunedin Hospital will cause the city itself to change, both physically and in how we do things. The details of those changes will, in part, be determined by what the public thinks.
One example already in the public consciousness is whether the one-way system should change or not, and if so, how. People have been thinking about these changes for a while, so the hospital is the catalyst of the discussion more than the cause. The NZ Transport Agency and the Dunedin City Council are leading this issue. A full public consultation process will probably get under way soon to test the merits of this or that change. It seems entirely possible that the result will be at least some quietening of the one-way system north, which in turn will alter both the feel and function of the space between George St and the new hospital. The earlier decision to locate the new bus hub into Great King St will complement any change.
The new hospital might also change the city through a larger district heating scheme. The existing scheme runs mostly on coal and supplies heating to the hospital, part of the University, the central fire station and, until recently, Cadbury. It is due for replacement by 2028, when the bigger new hospital building is due to open. It will be fired renewably, presumably with wood chips.