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Rebuild plan for Christchurch unveiled

The plan for the rebuild for central Christchurch is now out. It looks to me, as I slowly get to understand it, as having some very exciting possibilities. This site kept people (including out of this city and country) in touch with the events around the earthquakes. This post continues that theme.

There are still many people who are in serious difficulties in their own situation. Protests about the situation for those in TC3 areas were held at the same time as this plan was revealed. As we pray for and seek wisdom, creativity, and energy for going forward, we also remember those who have died, those who grieve, those whose lives are totally changed through these quakes…

The plan will only translate into a human city by interesting contemporary architecture. I hope we don’t end up with the sort of tilt-slab and glass buildings (going up and being planned) as the norm.

Does the height restriction apply to buildings like the BNZ replacement in the Square – or are the replacements exempt in their rebuilding?

Where is the parking…

I will also be interested how all this affects the church. St Michael and All Angels, currently seeking a new vicar, not only needs to maintain and enhance its leadership in the contemporary catholic contribution within Anglicanism, but now will have the Justice and Emergency services on its doorstep. St Luke’s will have the Cultural Centre and Performing Arts in its neighbourhood. The cathedral will have a revitalised Square around it. St John’s in Latimer Square will be, like St Luke’s, clearly outside of the CBD and, in St John’s case, dwarfed by the city’s true cathedral, the Stadium, next to it.

After the quakes the diocese had a Strategic Planning Group meeting. That was disbanded. Strategic conversations were to happen between parishes, and those conversations gathered together at a diocesan meeting last Saturday. That meeting was cancelled. With, as just one example, church insurance premiums being sixfold (!!!) this year over last year – strategic planning is essential.

Other local Anglican priest blogger, Peter Carrell has also got a not dissimilar blogpost on this here.

[Following previous discussions on this site, I notice that the transitional cathedral, now announced to be a building to last fifty years, is facing South (page 86 [PDF 12MB]). This is the first time those of us interested in such things have found out]

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10 thoughts on “Rebuild plan for Christchurch unveiled”

  1. Richard Brown

    interesting of note from an editorial in today’s press
    “The plan doesn’t deal with the future of the cathedral; that is still a matter for the Anglican Church. What it does suggest, however, is that the replaced or rebuilt Christ Church Cathedral will not have the same status as it once had, as the notional centre of Christchurch.”
    this is certainly true an example of this in the recovery plan is the photograph of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland, http://www.urbannz.co.nz/Portals/10/News%20pics/15-StPatricks-Square-H7221.jpg
    this is located in a square and dwarfed by other buildings around it. Will this happen to Christchurch with the placing of the Library and Convention Centre in the square?

    1. I seem to have a comment that dispersed into the ether world!

      As I glance through the presentation it is very apparent that their intention is not to build a high rise city center. The monograph emphasizes compact, low rise buildings. Rather than build up, an illustration shows pushing a building over sideways and building out instead.

      1. Yes, Brother David – the height restriction is 6-8 floors. Stable buildings still standing over that height may remain. For quite a while, if you are taking down say, a damaged 13 story building, legally you were allowed to replace that with a 13 story building. I don’t know if this new plan is changing that. Blessings.

  2. I can understand deeply traumatised people wanting to rebuild, to put the past behind them and look forward to the future but any one with a half pence of sense would not rebuild on the same ground, it is deeply flawed with a potential for continuing earth quakes, it is alluvial flood plane. Far wiser to turn the old city centre into a memorial park and build new where it is safe.

  3. Bosco, a few months ago I was thinking about where to retire and I don’t think there is anywhere NOT subject to natural disaster of some kind in the US. Maybe not anywhere.

    I was in the Caribbean a few years ago and learned in detail how Hurricane Hugo then a few years later the unexpected eruption of a volcano changed many lives in Montserrat- previously a paradise haven.

    Thinking about you all, especially as you say those grieving loss of loved ones, homes and livelihoods.

    May all be comforted.

  4. That is the question, in the hills; certainly with the quake only striking the city centre a green field site for a new city would provide endless opportunities for imagination, engineering and a considered scientific survey first.

    1. Bene, from previous comments you live in the UK, I don’t know if you have an idea of the situation, geography etc. here? What gives you the impression that the quake only struck “the city centre”? Even using the singular, “quake” misunderstands the situation. There have been thousands and thousands of quakes here, two in the last day, 156 in the last month, 7 around 4.0 or more. Our province is mainly a plane, but many on the hills have been very badly affected also. There has been a little talk of moving the centre but with scientific testing, improved building practice, and those buildings that don’t withstand quakes all obviously destroyed, it is impressive, in a community that is easily argumentative, that only 9% are against the plan. We are not the sort of wealthy country that can easily move half a million people – the expenses involved in what we are doing and going to do are stretching resources already. Blessing.

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