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Shoppers have say on City Mall redevelopment

Media Release 24 July 2006

Shoppers have say on City Mall redevelopment

More than 400 Christchurch shoppers visited the City Mall shop at the western end of Cashel Street set up to help shape plans for the mall’s redevelopment. The feedback received was thoughtful and varied.

The shop closed on Friday and Garth Falconer, of locally-based urban design company the Isthmus Group, carrying out the redevelopment of the City Mall for Christchurch City Council, says feedback from visitors to the shop during the past month has been invaluable in guiding the design team.

“We received a wide range of thoughtful comments and are now working through these as we prepare more detailed concept designs for the City Council to consider next month.

“Responses from shop visitors confirm there are many different groups using the City Mall and all have different hopes and aspirations for how it can be improved,” Mr Falconer said.

“Looking at this as urban designers, the message we received is there is no single quick fix solution; we need a multi-faceted approach with plenty of flexibility and the scope to ensure the redeveloped City Mall will be a great pubic space for everyone who uses it – shoppers, inner city residents, students, retailers, workers, visitors and tourists.

“We will keep this in focus as we prepare design concepts for presentation to the City Council on 1 August,” he said.

Garth Falconer says, shop visitors made numerous suggestions to improve the City Mall and are keen to see more information as the project progresses.

“Discussion and feedback covered issues from car parking to public art; from buses to better emphasising heritage features of the City Mall; from public safety to protection from the wind; and from extending the tram through the mall to changing the name of the precinct.

“There was also plenty of feedback on the proposals to reintroduce slow traffic especially in the western end of Cashel Street.

Visitors to the City Mall shop have included shoppers, property owners, architects, inner city workers, school groups, builders and nearby residents.

Covering an expanded section of the south west of central Christchurch around the City Mall, the redevelopment project area is bounded by Lichfield, Oxford, Hereford and Manchester Streets, including some 400 shops and retail businesses.

Design proposals will be presented to the City Council on 1 August, with a period of formal public consultation expected later in August. It is anticipated that retail premises will again be used to present the proposal during the public consultation. As well as considering physical improvements for the streets, these proposals will include a draft business management plan, outlining how businesses can work together to co-ordinate retailers on the future development of the area.

ENDS

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