Re-developing Christchurch - 5 Years after the Quake
06 Mar 2016
The 2011 Christchurch earthquake left an enormous mark on New Zealand. People will never forget one of the country’s worst natural disaster and will forever mourn the loss of human life. Parts of Christchurch were severely affected by the earthquake and damage to the infrastructure and to the buildings was significant. Many old buildings from the central city were deemed uninhabitable and later demolished. The suburbs were also hit very hard, over 10,000 being destroyed due to the damage caused by the earthquake. But hope is not lost, five years after the quake, redevelopment brings new life to Christchurch.
The Christchurch Central Development Unit was founded with the sole purpose of helping Christchurch recover and redevelop its city centre. The aim of the plan is to transform the central district into a lively place where people can have easy access to their favourite activities. Several projects have been proposed in different key areas around the city. Let’s look at some of them and see how Christchurch will look in a few years’ time.
After all the tragedy and loss, people need a place to reflect, gather and just be together. The Earthquake Memorial will provide that space. Work has already started and will be completed by 2017. The Earthquake Memorial will be situated on the south bank of the river and will feature both spaces for walking and sitting in a green environment. The Te Puna Ahurea Cultural Centre will celebrate Ngāi Tahu and Māori culture by showcasing the ever-evolving identity of the nation with traditions and visual arts. The East Frame and the South Frame will offer people new and innovating places to live. The East Frame will include a central park, perfect for walking, running, cycling or even relaxing on a comfy Ambient Lounge bean bag. Lofts and warehouse style spaces will redefine living and built a thriving community centred on top notch health and educational services with an emphasis on technology. The Christchurch Central Development Unit doesn’t ignore families with children and has already opened the Margaret Mahy Family Playground a place with play areas for children of all ages. Some precincts will be dedicated to different activities beneficial to the city like retail, health, justice and emergency services, innovation, and performing arts. The redeveloped city centre will also feature a stadium, a library and a sports facility among others.
Christchurch is slowly changing and getting the rejuvenation treatment that it deserves. The process will not be easy and it will not happen overnight, but in the end, the city will provide its dwellers with new and fantastic opportunities.