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Rebuilding Christchurch: blueprint unveiled to public

Rebuilding Christchurch: blueprint unveiled for public discussion

Aug 11 (BusinessDesk) – Christchurch will be rebuilt with a smaller, deliberately compact and walkable central business district, the Avon River will be “revealed” through widening, and the city will commit to bicycles and light rail in future transport planning, if proposals unveiled today are endorsed in public consultations.

The Christchurch City Council released the blueprint for input from citizens, who have already contributed to the strategy through public consultations, expos and forums.

A central plank of the blueprint is that the CBD will be rebuilt “within the four avenues and create a vibrant, prosperous, area for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

A health research centre is proposed around a rebuilt Christchurch Hospital, and a world-class multi-sports facility, including an aquatic centre and elite training facilities in the south-eastern corner of the city, to replace the ruined facilities at AMI Stadium.

“The Central Plan has more than 70 projects to be implemented during the next 10 to 20 years,” the document says. Businesses would be encouraged to move into a more tightly defined precinct ringed by Lichfield, Manchester and Kilmore streets and the banks of the Avon River. Businesses would be encouraged to locate in that area, which would be low-rise.

The plan proposes widening the banks of the Avon, and creating a continuous parkland and boardwalks to “reveal the Avon”.

The first part of a light rail system would link the University of Canterbury campus at Ilam with the central city. Christchurch’s iconic Cathedral Square, long-criticised as a dull heart to the city, will be “greened” as central city parkland – part of a wider network of parks and cycle-friendly developments the plan envisages.

A new convention centre and central library will be built, if the plan goes ahead.

The plan retains the four avenues as they represent unchanged thoroughfares since the city was first laid out, despite the destruction wrought within them by the earthquakes that have rocked New Zealand’s second biggest city since September last year.

“High quality inner city housing options” are also promoted.


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