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Greens release report on future of Christchurch

Greens release report on future of Christchurch

Christchurch can be rebuilt as a sustainable 21st century eco city, Christchurch based Green Party MP Kennedy Graham said today.

Dr Graham today released a report looking at the future of Christchurch that incorporated the result of a number of forums held between April and July looking at how best to rebuild the city. The booklet - The Future of Christchurch: a report for a 21st century eco-city reflects the ideas that were generated from the forums.

"A key theme that came through the forums was that the impact of the earthquakes was so significant, it should be treated as an issue of 'national significance'," said Dr Graham.

"A national conference should be convened in Christchurch as soon as practicable after the general election.

"We need to rebuild Christchurch in a way that meets four overarching principles - resilience, sustainability, harmony and beauty.

"For instance, we need to look at projected sea-level rise caused by global warming. We must also plan for a future city where oil is no longer the predominant source of our energy needs," said Dr Graham.

"And, where possible, it may be better to restore the central city using wood as it withstands seismic activity better than bricks and masonry.

"There may also need to be a limit on the height of buildings," said Dr Graham. "And everyone at the forums wanted green spaces, inside the city, not just out there in the countryside."

Other recommendations explore how Christchurch could introduce modern values and technology. The report also focuses on achieving carbon-neutral, energy-efficient buildings and homes. "Finally we need to make certain that the cost is shared equitably," said Dr Graham.

"That is why the Green Party has proposed a small temporary earthquake levy which would raise $5.4 billion over five years.

"Rebuilding Christchurch provides a great challenge but there is scope for building a better more sustainable city if we make the right decisions now."

For more information: The Future of Christchurch: a report for a 21st century eco-city is available at http://www.greens.org.nz/visionchristchurch (under downloads).

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