Christchurch Has a Shiny New Plan

Christchurch City Council has recently released their 'Christchurch Central Recovery Plan', which details the city's plans to rebuild following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, with the hope that the city will be more vibrant, connected and sustainable than ever.

The  Recovery Plan  envisions that "Central Christchurch will become the thriving heart of an international city.  It will draw on its rich natural and cultural heritage, and the skills and passion of its people, to embrace opportunities for innovation and growth.  Redevelopment will acknowledge the past and the events that have shaped the city, while reflecting the best of the new."

The Plan also includes a number of objectives (that seem all to familiar to us Victorians) such as 'A green city', 'A prosperous city', 'A vibrant city' and 'An accessible city'.

Yep, that's nice.  But how - you may ask?  In short, the plan includes built form principles for the central city, identifies 17 strategic sites ('key anchor projects'), and several block plans for precincts within the central city.  They also get a new stadium, an earthquake memorial and cultural centre.

According to an article by Kurt Bayer in the NZ Herald, there were plenty of not-so-happy campers.  Most of the criticisms relate to the focus of the CBD for recovery over other areas, as well as implementation, with some questioning if the recovery would "actually happen".

"There were.. about 250 people attempting to disrupt the launch with a vocal protest outside the council building, with chants including, 'Fix our homes before the CBD".

Since the earthquakes, Christchurch has seen a surge of community interest in renewing local areas.  Some really innovative projects have popped up, such as those facilitated by Gapfiller (I love their Gap-golf and dance-o-mat), as well as the Shipping Container Mall.  Let's hope that this same sense of participation and innovation is harnessed for the Recovery Plan, and that it makes the most of the opportunity to (re)create a better Christchurch.

See the video here.  You can also read the beautifully presented report here.


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