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Film festival documentary focuses on Christchurch

1 August 2013

Film festival documentary focuses on Christchurch

Christchurch City Council is welcoming the screening of an international documentary on urban design which includes a section on the post-earthquake rebuild in Christchurch.

The Human Scale by Andreas Dalsgaard takes an international perspective on the challenges of designing cities in the 21st century. As well as including cities such as Copenhagen, New York, Chongqing, Melbourne and Dhaka, the film-makers have devoted a chapter to the Christchurch rebuild.

The documentary reviews the influence of the ideas of renowned urban designer Jan Gehl from Denmark, whose company Gehl Architects came to Christchurch to assist with the development of the draft Central City Plan by the Christchurch City Council after the earthquakes.

Jan Gehl is considered one of the most influential urban designers across the globe and the documentary explores the effects of his ideas on the cities in which Gehl Architects have worked. The film includes footage of the earthquakes, Share an Idea and the draft Central City Plan. Mayor Bob Parker features, as does the Council’s Principal Urban Designer Hugh Nicholson and Coralie Wynn from Gap Filler.

Mayor Parker says, “Share an Idea was a huge achievement that resulted in so many people having their say in making Christchurch a great place to live and work. That the initiative has been documented in this way to go alongside the many awards it has won is gratifying.”

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For Mr Nicholson, who moved to Christchurch six years ago, it meant rekindling a connection with Gehl that began in 2009 with the Public Space Public Life study of the Central City.

“At least 20 per cent of the documentary is focused on Christchurch and reflects strongly the community engagement through Share an Idea and their desire to have lower rise buildings in the Central City.”

“People don’t necessarily think of Share an Idea as urban design but at its heart that is what it was; making people the focus of the rebuild process.”

The Human Scale screens as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival.

Christchurch session times:
Riccarton, Saturday 3 August, 4.45 pm
Riccarton, Sunday 4 August, 1pm
Northlands, Wednesday 7 August, 1.45pm
Northlands, Thursday 8 August, 11.30am

To find out more about the film festival, go to

Council urban design services:
Rebuild Central: A one-stop service for property owners and businesses who want resource and building consent advice and planning assistance.

Urban Design Panel: A group of professionals who can provide independent design reviews for Christchurch City Council and private developers on urban design aspects of new developments.

Design guides: The Council has a number of guides available to help developers.

For more information on urban design, and Council services, go to


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