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Blueprint for Christchurch 'bold and innovative'


News release: July 30, 2012
Blueprint for Christchurch 'bold and innovative'

The blueprint for rebuilding Christchurch’s quake-hit city centre is ‘bold and innovative’ and puts Christchurch on track to again become one of the greatest cities in Australasia.

That is the view of Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter.

“This blueprint sets out a very clear vision for the central city and really shapes Christchurch as a city of the 21st century – a place where everyone will want to come and stay,” Mr Hunter says.

“It keeps the best of the Garden City’s urban layout our forefathers created, enhancing the ‘city in a garden’ image by adding more parks and by shrinking the size of the CBD into a more compact, people-friendly space.

“We will have a new state-of-the-art convention centre, new performing arts theatres, a new stadium, and a new sports and indoor swimming complex all within easy walking distance of shops, bars, restaurants and cafes.

“Everything is going to be very accessible which will give us a real marketing edge when it comes to attracting national and international conferences to the city. Few other cities in the world would have as many top-class facilities within such a small geographical area.”

Mr Hunter says the planned Maori cultural centre and welcome place for visitors in Victoria Square will become a significant community asset and will add further cultural depth to the wealth of visitor experiences on offer.

“We now have a serious business case for tourism investment in Christchurch. With this blueprint I’m confident we can attract the replacement hotel, hospitality and retail investment we urgently need.

“And now that we have certainty about the way the city will develop we can go out and promote the new and evolving Christchurch on the world stage," Mr Hunter says.

- Ends –


CHRISTCHURCH CITY BLUEPRINT - BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Christchurch’s city centre will become a more compact, people-friendly space under a bold plan to shrink the size of the CBD by framing it with parks.
The new green ‘frame’ is part of a bold and innovative blueprint for rebuilding Christchurch’s quake-hit CBD released by the New Zealand government agency charged with overseeing the city’s recovery.
Other elements of its plan include:
*Celebrating the Avon River
The banks of Christchurch’s Avon river will be turned into a ribbon of parks, allowing people to make the most of this beautiful waterway. On one side of the river the banks will have quite an urban feel with paving and areas for seating; on the other side the banks will have a more natural feel with lots of grassed areas and plantings. Public art telling the history of the river will be dotted along the banks and will draw people through to a Maori cultural centre in Victoria Square.
*Building a new convention centre
Christchurch will get a new convention centre, in one of the city’s most picturesque locations. The centre will be able to cater for up 2000 delegates and will also include hotels and shops. It will be right in the heart of the city, making it easy for delegates to enjoy all the other attractions Christchurch will have to offer.
*A new venue for big concerts and sporting events

A new covered stadium designed for international fixtures and concerts is also provided in the blueprint. The stadium will be able to seat up to 35,000 people and will be located within easy walking distance of the convention centre and the city’s hotels.

*New facilities for sports and leisure enthusiasts

Christchurch people take their sport seriously so no plan for rebuilding the city centre would be complete without a new metro sports hub. This modern aquatic and indoor sports centre will boast a competition-size swimming pool with seating for up to 500. It will also have a leisure, spa and learners pool. The centre will also have eight indoor courts, with 2800 retractable seats.

*New venues for the performing arts and music

The blueprint also includes plans to build a new music centre and home for Christchurch’s Symphony Orchestra, as well as new auditoria for the performing arts. These new facilities will cement Christchurch’s reputation for promoting the arts.

*A makeover for Christchurch’s iconic Square

The Square has, and always will be, the civic heart of Christchurch but it is going to get a make-over. It will be closed to through traffic and “greened’’ through the use of more grass and plantings, making it a more attractive place for families to picnic and for friends to gather.

*An earthquake memorial

The city will honour those who tragically lost their lives in the February 22, 2011 earthquake through a new memorial. The city plans holding an international design competition to select a design for the memorial.

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