Latest update 21 JUNE 2012
Work has begun installing a range of transitional city projects within Christchurch’s Central City which will bring new life and people back to the heart of the city.
“These low-cost, temporary projects are part of the Council’s commitment to help support business and people back into the Central City by improving the environment, pedestrian safety and creating interest in the area,” says Mayor Bob Parker.
Eels and raupo are being painted on Oxford Terrace, near Re:Start, as part of a temporary streetscape upgrade to this area; an art installation and outdoor exhibition are being installed in Worcester Boulevard; the streetscape along Colombo Street, from Tuam Street to South City, is being improved with planters and vibrant splashes of colour; and pedestrian access on the Durham Street bridge is being upgraded.
“The Central City has been constantly changing with the demolition of buildings, reduction of the cordon and businesses beginning to move back to the fringes of the cordon.
“This transitional stage is important for the Council to explore new ideas and concepts to help with the recovery of the area and enable residents to reconnect with the heart of their city as we start to transition into the restoration/reconstruction phase.
“The projects will last a few months or a few years depending on the nature of the project and how quickly new areas of the Central City are re-opened.”
Along Oxford Terrace, in the area known at The Terrace before the earthquakes, visual artist of Ngāi Tahu, Ngaphui and Ngati Kahu descent, Priscilla Cowie is creating an artwork that captures the essence of the city’s aspirations to celebrate the Avon River/Ōtakaro’s rich cultural heritage and the natural environment.
“Images of raupo, flax and eels are being painted across the footpath and roadway to extend the riverbank and create a seamless environment. This introduces the concept of a shared space for pedestrians, cyclists and other traffic.”
Mr Parker says brightly coloured seating from the former Bus Exchange Transit Lounge is being placed along this stretch of Oxford Terrace encouraging people to stop for a while, to contemplate and enjoy the new environment.
Across the river on Durham Street (by the Bridge of Remembrance), pedestrian access is being improved with a new footpath on the eastern side of the bridge and planting used to separate pedestrians from the traffic. “This will help with pedestrian access to Re:Start and businesses operating in the area.
“Down Colombo Street, from Tuam Street to South City, the footpaths have been repaired, build-outs placed at the intersections and new planters installed providing a burst of bright colour in the street.”
He says the streetscape improvements create a better environment for people to visit and reconnect with the Central City, as well as improving pedestrian safety.
“What we are doing is testing new ideas and concepts, in line with what the community asked for as part of developing the Draft Central City Plan. And we again want your feedback so we can improve on what we have done for other areas of the Central City as these open up.”
Life is being brought back to Christchurch’s Central City with a range of transitional city projects being delivered by the Council to test new ideas and explore new concepts to bring people, business and investment back to the area.
The Central City keeps changing with the continual demolition of buildings, reduction of the cordon and businesses starting to re-establish themselves back in the area.
The five low-cost transitional city projects encourage residents and visitors to take a look what’s happening in the Central City; the projects having been designed to improve the environment and pedestrian safety and create interest.
Transitional city projects are temporary projects in public spaces that improve the Central City environment while the city is rebuilt. Temporary can mean some months or some years depending on the nature of the project, how quickly new areas of the Central City are re-opened and the speed of the rebuild.
Transitional city projects
Along Worcester Boulevard there are two art installations, both designed to provoke memory, thought and a little controversy.
On the eastern wall of the Christchurch Art Gallery, painted in bold, black letters is:
encouraging residents and visitors to talk about the future of the city and its Cathedral.
From Montreal Street to Worcester Street, is the outdoor exhibition on local architectural heritage, Reconstruction: conversations on a city. Using early drawing, paintings, plans and photos, the exhibition takes a look at the laying of the foundations for Christchurch. It is an art historical tour of the city and its environs which are guaranteed to get everyone talking about the city and its rebuild.
Reconstruction: conversations on a city is on Worcester Boulevard from 23 June to 16 September 2012
Visual artist Priscilla Cowie of Ngāi Tahu, Ngapuhi and Ngati Kahu descent has created an artwork along the Oxford Terrace that captures the essence of the city’s aspirations to celebrate the Avon River/Otakaro’s rich cultural heritage and the natural environment.
Images of raupo, flax and eels extend from the riverbank across the road to create a seamless environment and introduce the concept of a shared space for pedestrians, cyclists and other traffic.
The Avon’s rich resources have been important mahinga kai (food) for Ngāi Tahu, Cowie’s design celebrating the importance of the river’s natural ecology.
Bright-coloured seating from the former Bus Exchange Transit Lounge has been placed along this stretch of Oxford Terrace, along with planters in bright block colours to help create a vibrant, inspirational space where people are encouraged to stop for a while.
Durham Street bridge
Pedestrian access across the Durham Street Bridge (by the Bridge of Remembrance) has also been improved with a new footpath installed on the eastern side of the bridge and planting used to separate pedestrians from the traffic. This will help with pedestrian access to Re:Start and businesses operating in the area.
From Tuam Street to South City, the footpaths have been repaired and build-outs installed at the intersections where large planters painted in bright orange and blue stripes have been placed to add a splash of colour to the landscape. These are planted with native evergreen shrubs and seasonal flowering plants, many of which come from the gold award-winning joint City Council-City Care garden at this year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show.
For more information visit www.ccc.govt.nz/transitionalcity