Concepts put forward by EIT design students will be among those considered by Hastings District Council as it works on plans to revitalise the Havelock North Domain.
Asked to come up with concepts for the domain revamp, 14 EIT ideaschool students, in the second year of their Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design, formed two teams to work on ideas.
The teams - Team Seven and Kinectiv Studios - were briefed by the council on what it wanted to achieve, analysed the site and carried out their own research before coming up with their design ideas.
The students presented their concepts to council staff and councillors this week.
Team Seven's idea was based on "community interaction". Its key features included retaining an area of open green space, upgrading the playground and safety features that will allow the reserve be used day and night. The aim was to deliver the domain back to the community.
Themes included a radial division of space, with access pathways that meet at a central point, hexagonal shapes - inspired by Te Mata Peak and Arataki honey bee cells - and a palette of green and yellow for signage.
The team proposed renaming the domain Village Park.
Meanwhile, "interaction" was also the key focus for the Kinectiv Studios' scheme.
They considered sustainability, innovative design and community needs to create a safe and comfortable place where people will feel welcome and want to linger.
Other than the skate park, the team found people were not making much use of the domain. However, because the community valued open space, Kinectiv included a grassed expanse as well as separate areas for different age groups within its overall design.
The roofs of shelters could be tilted to provide optimum shade from the sun.
The council's parks planning and development manager, Rachel Stuart, said the students have been "an absolute delight to deal with".
"My expectations were exceeded with the concepts that they presented to us. They were professional, thoroughly researched, creative and exciting," she said.
"I will certainly be including several ideas from each team into my concept plan for the domain that I hope to take to council in the coming months. The plan, once adopted by council, will then be circulated to the community for consultation and feedback."
The students' lecturer, Mandy Rudge, said the exercise had given the two teams the "value of a real-world project" and provided experience on a number of levels.
This had included team work, working to a brief and presenting back to the council.
"Plus they got something to put on their CVs," Dr Rudge said.
She said the project had also served as a positive way of building relationships between EIT and the council.