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2000 City Adventures Taken in 2 months!

2000 City Adventures Taken in 2 months!

A parking meter with a difference has issued 2,000 tickets since being installed in Cathedral Square two months ago.

The Open City parking meter issues tickets containing people’s ideas on the best free things to do our city. A ticket might direct you to “Enjoy a tree swing” or “Experience wonderful Cunningham House” or “Play ping pong”. Each of these little gems are free and have been suggested by Christchurch locals.

Open City is a collaboration between Gap Filler and the All Right? campaign.

Rachael Welfare, Gap Filler Co-Director, says the Open City project hopes to foster a sense of connection between strangers.

“Each adventure helps you get to know your city better through someone else’s eyes,” says Ms Welfare.

“The project, since its inception, has been about questioning how we give value to things in our city. It’s the small things to find or do in the city which connect us to the city year round” “And with so much change in recent years, it’s nice to find some new things as well as the old amongst the sweet, free things to do.”

Sue Turner, All Right? manager, says the Open City parking meter is helping people to reconnect with the city.

“The central city is changing by the day. Whether you’re one of the many thousands of people who have returned to the city for work, or you’re simply wanting to rediscover the city with your whānau, the meter is full of great ideas that will help you to unlock the city’s secrets,” says Sue Turner.

Sue says each Open City activity is aligned to one of five actions scientifically proven to improve wellbeing - connect, take notice, give, be active and keep learning.

Approximately 33 tickets a day have been issued by the parking meter with the most frequently selected sweet, free things to do being: A tree swing in the Botanic Gardens, the triangular vegetable garden outside C1 Cafe (the old Post Office Building on High Street) and Gap Filler’s Super Street Arcade project. Tickets are issued at all times of the day (and night!) with many users printing more than one.

One enthusiastic user of Open City, Clare Piper says of the project: “What a great concept it is to have a parking meter dispensing fun and free things to do in the city! It made me want to discover new places and spaces in our ever changing city. Every city should have one.”

Open City has a website where you can upload your suggestions of sweet, free things to do in Christchurch. The website operates city-wide, whereas the parking meter is limited to things within the four avenues that can be reached, ideally on foot, a scooter or bike. “There are about 90 different inner-city secrets to discover accessible from the parking meter now, and it’d be great to have even more” says Welfare.

The Open City tickets are free from the repurposed parking meter in the Square. The project will remain in place across 2017 and into 2018. Gap Filler has plans to place more parking meters around the central city as well as potentially in suburban areas in the coming year.


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