A future vision for Christchurch

What Christchurch did next

Chapter 3: Formulating a vision for the future

Dr Jan Kupec at Port Hills

Dr Jan Kupec being interviewed by media on the Port Hills

“The recovery of central Christchurch is an enormous task that will involve everyone. It is a journey to be taken in partnership with the city’s many stakeholders to ensure that central Christchurch recovers and progresses as a place for the community to be proud of.”

– Christchurch Central Recovery Plan

Christchurch’s social and physical infrastructure suffered deeply. The damage equated to 20 per cent of national GDP. This almighty challenge forced New Zealand’s Central Government to declare a State of Emergency and form the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) to enable an effective, timely and co-ordinated rebuilding and recovery effort . One of the first priorities for CERA was to formulate a blueprint of repair to all facets of infrastructure and then ascertain priorities. It was an enormous challenge.

A blueprint for recovery

On 30 July 2012, the Minister for the CERA went public with the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan. This ambitious framework to rebuild the city was carved and crafted over 100 days by a creative team of local and international designers, known as the Blueprint 100 consortium.

Central to the Recovery Plan was the voice and vision of the Christchurch community. A ‘share an idea’ campaign was launched via hundreds of discussion forums hosted in town halls and central spaces, coupled with an online crowdsourcing tool, to capture the imaginations and opinions of over 60 000 individuals in the reshaping of their city space. Ultimately, 106 000 great ideas from the community were harvested and integrated into the Recovery Plan.

Woven throughout the 106 000 contributions was the desire for an inclusive and accessible central city that catered for all ages, ethnic groups, and disabilities, through a broad range of environments, activities, buildings, services and facilities.

Blueprint Summary, Te Hononga Mokowā - He Whakarāpopototanga

Blueprint Summary, Te Hononga Mokowā - He Whakarāpopototanga
(Click on image to enlarge)

Faith in the future

Baden Ewart talks about his faith in the future of Christchurch, which he calls a diamond city.

Giving residents their future back

Soon after the February 2011 quake, CERA mapped Christchurch into four zones – red, orange, green and white. 7 857 properties were red-zoned as they were located on land so badly damaged it was unlikely to be rebuilt on in the near future. Thousands of other properties were also deemed uninhabitable because they required such major repairs.

CERA’s residential red zone offer in which the owners of damaged properties could sell their land and uninhabitable homes at market-related rates was crucial to recovery. It gave property owners the chance to move on with their lives and find a new, secure, and safe home. By the end of 2012, over 6 300 property owners had signed a sale and purchase agreement and the government had spent USD989 million on buying the properties of owners who had settled.

Beyond the red zone (Part 1)

As part of his work with CERA, Aurecon’s Dr Jan Kupec, Technical Director and Geotechnical Engineer, reveals why areas of the Port Hills were red zoned.

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