DAVID HALLETT/Fairfax NZ
INNOVATIVE PROPOSAL: Canterbury University's Mark Quigley explains his vision for the rebuild of Christchurch's eastern suburbs.
A Nielsen survey of nearly 3000 red-zoned eastern householders in October found about a quarter who had not already relocated wanted to stay in the east.Red-zoned east Christchurch residents who want to stay put could be rehoused on remediated land the size of Riccarton Racecourse if they abandoned the "Kiwi quarter-acre dream", a geologist says.
Their priorities were solid land, familiarity with the area and living close to family and friends.
Most wanted to live in a three to four-bedroom home that cost $300,000 to $400,000.
Mark Quigley, senior lecturer in active tectonics at the University of Canterbury, said this was possible – without remediating the entire eastern red zone.
He outlined his vision of a "hazard-resilient city" to a New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects conference on Friday.
Dense-population "housing blocks" could be created on small areas of remediated and elevated land in the east, on sites such as Rawhiti Domain, he said.
He suggested housing that allowed one person per 50 square metres rather than the pre-earthquake east Christchurch norm of one person per 225sqm.
Through some "crude number crunching", Quigley estimated only five to 10 per cent of the red zone would need to be remediated to house all red and green-blue residents who wanted to stay.
This was equivalent to the size of one or two 18-hole golf courses or "an area the size of Riccarton Racecourse".
Quigley said of those surveyed by Nielsen, only 1 per cent said they wanted a good-sized section.
"After all they had been through, they didn't care about the size of their yard. They wanted ground that wasn't subject to liquefaction."
Rather than creating ghettos, tsunami evacuation routes, easy access to the city and amenities nearby would "add value" to the housing blocks, he said.
Quigley conceded his idea was "more complicated" but in the long term would decrease residents' vulnerability to natural disasters and increase property values, energy efficiency, scenic beauty and quality of life.
Download Mark Quigley's PDF presentation here.