Saturday, January 26, 2013

Christchurch Central Recovery Plan

Te Mahere ‘Maraka Otautahi’
The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan (CCRP) outlines the future development of central Christchurch.

It incorporates a spatial Blueprint Plan developed by a professional consortium working with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU) over a 100 day period.

It was released to the public on 30 July 2012.


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. 
The redevelopment will acknowledge the past and the events that have shaped the city, while reflecting the best of the new. 

What do the people of Christchurch want for their city?

When Christchurch City Council asked people to share ideas about the central city recovery it received over 100,000 suggestions. Advice also came from professional institutes, interest groups, and community organisations.

From the responses, 5 key themes formed the basis of the plan.
  • Green city
  • Stronger built identity
  • Compact CBD
  • Accessible city
  • Live, Work, Play, Learn and Visit
The Blueprint

The blueprint plan provides a spatial framework for Central Christchurch. It describes the form in which the central city can be rebuilt as a whole, and defines the location of ‘anchor projects’ which will stimulate further development.


A large multipurpose sports and entertainment venue is proposed for central Christchurch. wit seating for up to 35,000 people, the covered stadium will position central Christchurch as a world-class option for attracting and hosting sporting events and concerts. The stadium will include:
  • 35,000 capacity, with 4,300 demountable seats to allow for staging and scaling of events.
  • Corporate suites and lounge spaces with 4000 seat capacity
  • Option of a fixed transparent roof
  • Optimum spectator viewing through rectangular format for field of play and seating 

Justice and Emergency Service Precinct.
The Justice and Emergency Service Precinct will incorporate the government and emergency service sectors, along with Civil Defence and Emergency Management. It will bring a substantial workforce into the central city, stimulating recovery by supporting retail and commercial activity in the central area.

Metro Sports Facility

A new metro sports facility will attract people from across Canterbury, New Zealand and the world. They will be able to train, participate and compete in a broad range of sports for all ages and abilities. The facilities will also offer a pleasant and relaxing environment for spectators.


It will be a top-class venue and centre of excellence, accessible to people of all ages, abilities and sporting skills. Providing aquatic and indoor sport facilities, it will cater for the day-to-day needs of the recreational, educational and high performance sporting communities, and also host national and international events. The facility will be conveniently located in central Christchurch, close to other sporting facilities and easy to access by public transport, private vehicle and new walking and cycling links. The Metro Sports Facility will include:
  • Aquatic centre with a 50m, 10-lane competition pool, dive and leisure pools
  • Indoor stadium – 8 indoor courts including seating for up to 2,800
  • High performance centre with facilities for coaching and training
  • Day-to-day recreation, including fitness centre and outdoor landscaped space
  • Performance movement centre with studios and performance space
  • Administration facilities and parking
Health Precinct
A world-class hub for health education, research and innovation could be established next to the existing Christchurch Hospital.

The Health Precinct is an inspirational project in which private research and professional partners, educational and medi-hotel facilities will be within walking distance of the main hospital site. It will also form a world-class facility for learning and teaching in medicine located at the western end of the south Frame, the precinct will be well connected to the Metro Sports Facility and the Core.

Performing Arts Precinct

The arts and creative industries are crucial to the recovery of Christchurch. They contribute to the local economy, to community and cultural wellbeing, and support tourism and hospitality. Most of all, they draw people to the city and make it an inspiring place to be. A Performing Arts Precinct is proposed to offer facilities for music and the performing arts, and to act as a catalyst for recovery. The precinct will embrace different sites and will support co-location of organisations as far as is possible.
The precinct designation will be sufficient to provide for a range of facilities in the event that the Town Hall cannot be repaired. It will be in close proximity to the Convention Centre, Papa o Ōtākaro/Avon River Precinct, hospitality providers and hotels. The Precinct could include a performing arts centre made up of two auditoria of 1,500 and 500 seats respectively, with an appropriately high-quality acoustic environment. It could also provide a permanent home for the Court Theatre, the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, and the Music Centre of Christchurch. The location of the Performing Arts Precinct recognises the restoration of the Isaac Theatre Royal in its existing location.

Avon River Precinct

The winding path of the Ōtākaro/Avon River will mark Christchurch’s new river precinct. Papa o Ōtākaro will include Victoria Square (formerly Market Square) and be part of the central city’s spiritual and aesthetic identity. The historical contrast between the curving river and the linear grid of the streets is a key element of the city’s distinctive urban form. Ōtākaro holds great significance for Ngāi Tahu: the river was their commercial vein, transport route, source of mahinga kai, and place by which they lived and traded. The new precinct will give priority to people and provide for cyclists and pedestrians.


Convention Centre Precinct

A world-class convention centre will be developed to attract new and exciting events to the city. The precinct comprises of a number of buildings that will reactivate surrounding streets and public spaces, and generate new activity. The precinct will support retail and hospitality within the Core and visitor attractions and services throughout Christchurch.

The Earthquake Memorial
A place where people can spend time in reflection and honour those who lost their lives or were injured in the earthquakes will be developed in central Christchurch. The national Earthquake Memorial will be a place of local, national and international significance where individuals can reflect and large groups can gather. Because this is such a significant project, it should begin early, not be rushed and involve the community and families of those who died.

185 people died in Christchurch as a result of the 22 February 2011 earthquake, and many others were seriously injured. The earthquakes profoundly affected many people and cultures, within New Zealand. Nearly every person in the greater Christchurch region has an earthquake story and we all tell them in different ways. A community consultation process will be undertaken as part of the development of plans for the national Earthquake Memorial to ensure that the voices and ideas of the effected families and the community are captured in the design process for the Memorial. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Christchurch City Council and Ngāi Tahu will work together to identify the site and begin the community consultation and design process. A design competition will
be undertaken to attract the best ideas; international teams may participate but they must include local personnel.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christchurch – A Shaken city

On the 4th of September 2010, the day I left New Zealand, Christchurch was rocked by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, its epicentre was 35 miles away from Christchurch, with a depth of only 7.5 miles it caused widespread damage and a state of emergency was declared. Whilst the quake caused a lot of damage, and power to over 75% of the city was disrupted, there were no fatalities. Unfortunately for Christchurch this was the calm before the storm.

Footbridge over the Avon River was badly twisted in the September 2010 quake.File:Medway Bridge 76.jpg

On the 22nd of February 2011 (almost 6 months after the first quake) Christchurch was rocked by a magnitude 6.3 Earthquake, the epicentre was 6 miles away from Christchurch and at a very shallow depth of 3.1 miles. this earthquake has been described to me by engineers in the city as a 1 in 2500 year earthquake, the majority of buildings are designed to withstand a 1 in 100 year disaster.

This earthquake was responsible for 185 deaths, and insurance claims are expected to be in excess of $15 Billion New Zealand.

As an outsider moving to Christchurch it is hard to picture what the ‘garden city’ used to look like. Driving from the airport to my temporary accommodation all I was thinking is you wouldn’t even know an earthquake had hit, perfect suburbia springs to mind in some areas. The closer you get to the central city and things change, you start to see a lot of empty plots of land, almost 2 years on form the February quake and there is still so much demolition to be completed. A lot of the CBD is still closed off to the general public. This is known as the Red Zone.

IMG_1985                      IMG_1963

Looking over the chain link fence it is like looking at a Hollywood movie set, something you would see in one of the Resident Evil movies perhaps, traffic lights flashing on amber and not one person in sight.


Walking further into the city and into parts of the Red Zone which are now open to the public, the devastation is there for everyone to see. Mountains of rubble, damaged buildings, empty tower blocks.

IMG_2010                      IMG_2011

The most disturbing sight of all is the Cathedral, this once amazing part of Christchurch is completely ruined. 



Standing in the middle of Cathedral Square looking at this once great building, wondering how it will ever be restored made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. It is hard to understand what the people of Christchurch have gone through over the last 2 years, and will continue to go through for the foreseeable future.

One thing I did notice as I was wondering around Christchurch’s CBD was the Red Bus……. A bus tour that takes you ‘beyond the cordon’ and into the Red Zone. This is something that is been promoted as an educational tour, a tour guide will talk you through what happened on the day of the quake, and what the future holds for the city.


I can’t help but think this is a money making exercise for someone. There is plenty of information about the quake and the future plans for the city available online and in various leaflets and posters throughout Christchurch. It hits the nail on the head when the website offers a ‘Special package for cruise ship passengers’ – at $15 per person, this is something I will not be doing.

There is hope

The people of Christchurch have had to evolve and adapt, this can be seen if you look at the ‘Pop up Mall’ which is located on the edge of the Red Zone, built using shipping containers this quirky shopping centre is awesome, and I really hope it stays once the rebuild is complete.

IMG_2014                       IMG_2015

Cardboard Cathedral

A temporary structure is currently under construction in the heart of the city, ‘The Cardboard Cathedral’ is being built on the site of the old St Johns church which was demolished after the February quake. The Cathedral will be built using paper and cardboard tubes on a timber and steel A Frame. The site is opposite the CTV building where 115 people died in the February quake.

         11122012 News Photo: John Kirk-Anderson / The Press / Fairfax NZ<br /><br />The first frame of the cardboard cathedral goes up.


Christchurch Central Recovery Plan

The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan outlines the future of the city, a green city with 30m of walkway either side of the River Avon, a compact CBD, various precincts for healthcare, justice, retail, and sport. The masterplan includes:

  • Sports Stadium
  • Community Sports Facilities
  • Cultural Centre



As somebody working in the construction industry I can safely say there is nowhere on this planet I would rather be for the coming years, I’m excited to be involved in rebuilding and reshaping a city, it will be a very fulfilling challenge knowing that my work will make a difference to the people of Christchurch, and I am sure BIM will have a major part to play in this.


Christchurch Central Recovery Plan