Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Breathe building competition failure examined

12 February 2018

- for immediate release

Breathe building competition failure examined

Just why the Breathe project never become a reality in the Christchurch inner-city is examined in a new paper by Lincoln University’s Dr Lin Roberts.

The Breathe Urban Village Competition: Why did it fail to deliver? was recently published in the University’s latest planning review journal.

Breathe was a flagship post-quake urban regeneration project started in 2012. A design-and-build Urban Village competition, it was named to reflect its purpose - to breathe new life into the decimated central city after the 2011 earthquakes.

It was abandoned in 2015 and the land it was to be built-on still lies empty.

Dr Roberts said the Government at the time was unwilling, or unable, to recognise that an insistence on a pure market approach would not deliver the innovative sustainable village asked for in the competition brief.

“This level of naïve neoliberal faith that the markets could deliver urban regeneration to a badly damaged city was not seen even in Margaret Thatcher’s Britain.”

“The potential benefits to the inner city’s recovery of an early kick-start of residential development were significant.

“However, the Government’s focus on recouping its costs and finding a model that could be picked up by other developers without any further financial input from it outweighed the aspirational sustainable urban design criteria.”

Dr Roberts said the Government wanted a developer to take on all the risk themselves, to pay it an elevated price for a liquefaction-prone piece of land, and then to enter a contract to deliver an agreed development on the land by an agreed date, therefore tying the developer’s hand on what it did on that site.

“International experience would suggest that the sheer scale of the area of empty city land in the Christchurch inner city presents a high risk to the first developer seeking to turn an empty wasteland into a vibrant community.

However, if such a project were successful, there would be significant benefits to the city and wider community, so a contribution of local or central government money would have been entirely appropriate.

“There are many ways such contributions can be made. Options include tax incentives, contribution of land (by gift or lease), subsidies for land costs or land value write-downs, and loans for land purchase.”

Internationally, regeneration projects have usually been dependent upon some form of public-sector intervention to stimulate market activity, she said.

“Much less common globally are successful examples of urban regeneration led solely by the private sector. The returns from regeneration projects can be very high but these returns do not appear immediately so the key need is for ‘patient equity’ – equity from investors that are willing to leave their money in a project over a period of years.

“While this patient capital most often comes from central or local government, it does occasionally come from the developer, or from pension funds and other institutional investors, individual investors or non-profits.

“The Breathe site and the city blocks west and south of the site remain empty and deserted. For want of a little patience about when and how the Government got its financial return, the early vision of the vitality that a thriving residential neighbourhood would bring to the city has not yet been realised,” she said.

Dr Roberts was a member of one of the teams, Viva, which was one of four finalists in the Breathe competition. The paper reviews how the Breathe competition was set up and run, and is based on confidential interviews with three of the competition organisers, two of the judges, three of the four finalists, and one city councillor, and an analysis of key competition documents and of media coverage of the project.

End

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

a well

Wellness: Gordon Campbell On Ardern, Davos, And Wellbeing

The word “well-being” has a nice warm ring to it. So much so that the ‘wellbeing budget’ being touted by PM Jacinda Ardern at the rich folks’ club in Davos, Switzerland sounds more like a marketing slogan than an actual policy initiative.

Still, it is just as easy to forget that GDP – the common measure of how well an economy is performing – is also a marketing device. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Shipping Is NZ’s New Trade Problem

So Jacinda Ardern and Theresa May have signed a piece of paper promising peace in our time when it comes to our trade with Britain... Brexit is not the only concern. More>>

ALSO:

Reshuffle: National Announces Spokesperson For Drug Reform

National Leader Simon Bridges has appointed Paula Bennett to the new position of Spokesperson for Drug Reform as the Government pushes ahead with its agenda of drug decriminalisation, to signal National’s commitment to holding them to account. More>>

ALSO:

KiwiBailed: KiwiBuild Head Officially Resigns

The head of Kiwibuild, Stephen Barclay has officially resigned from the role. In a statement issued on his behalf, it was announced that he would step down from today [Friday]. More>>

ALSO:

Welfare Stats: Rise In Hardship Numbers Shows Income Inadequacy

The latest Ministry of Social Development quarterly report show that a record number of people have received hardship assistance from work and income, with an additional 40,000 hardship payments made between September and December 2018, compared to the previous quarter of the same year... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On MBIE’s Social Media Scam

Given the ambit of MBIE’s work, almost any form of social activity could qualify as being part of MBIE’s brief, so the privacy threats posed by this training programme are extensive. The current oversight safeguards seem threadbare to non-existent. More>>

ALSO:

JusTrade: New Campaign For A 21th Century Trade Agenda

‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’ More>>

Earlier:

Gordon Campbell: Thompson + Clark Are The Tip Of The Iceberg

How can we tell where and how any lines are being drawn? Oversight is not exactly robust. If it were, Thompson + Clark would have been out of contention for state security work ten years ago. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels