Changes proposed to bring life to the Square

Posted 31 Jul 2017 by Regenerate Featured Popular

A draft concept to bring more life to Cathedral Square and the surrounding area proposes reshaping the Square to create three lively gathering places, each with their own character and purpose, within a greener setting.



Regenerate Christchurch is working with property owners as well as its partners – Christchurch City Council, the Crown and Ngai Tahu – and a range of stakeholders to develop a regeneration strategy for the central city area between Kilmore Street to the north and Hereford Street to the south, and between Cambridge Terrace to the west and Manchester Street to the east.


As part of the process of developing a regeneration strategy by the end of this year, Regenerate Christchurch has created a draft concept for the area to test some key moves to help stimulate investment, achieve the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan’s vision, and showcase the very best of our city, says Regenerate Christchurch Chief Executive Ivan Iafeta.


“Cities are often defined by the quality of their centre, and what it offers. We want to catalyse improvements to the area.”


“We aren’t working with a blank canvas. This draft concept is based on the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan and on what people have said through Share an Idea, as well as more recent research and community feedback calling for a greener and more lively space that can host events,” says Ivan Iafeta.




The five proposed key moves are:

·         reshaping the Square to create more lively public spaces

·         framing the Square with structures and buildings that can stimulate the arts, creative enterprises, knowledge and education

·         improving connectivity to, through and around the area

·         upgrading the streets and lanes between hubs of activities

·         integrating water and the indigenous ecosystem into the streets and public spaces

The three proposed gathering places – Cathedral Gardens, Post Office Square and The Library Plaza could each have the infrastructure and facilities needed to host a range of events. A continuous water feature and native landscaping will connect them and new buildings will help define them.


We will also explore ways to stimulate greater residential development such as apartment living. This draft concept does not affect any work that is already underway or planned for the area. 


See what’s proposed, and give your feedback, at by 21 August.


Key move 1: Reshaping Cathedral Square


One of the draft concept's key moves is to change the Square from one large space into three interconnected places. To create these better defined places, the draft concept proposes to build a series of buildings on the public land in the northern corner of Cathedral Square.

Each place will have its own distinctive character and all of them would be 'event-ready', which means they would have the necessary infrastructure, facilities and management plans to host a range of events. They will be connected by a continuous water feature and native landscape.


Post Office Place

This would be our city's premier open-air events space for everything from cultural festivals and concerts to exhibitions and sports fanzones. Framed by the old Post Office, the new buildings on public land and the Cathedral, and designed to maximise sunlight and reduce the effects of wind, Post Office Place would be able to host up to 10,000 people.


Library Plaza

This new square, directly to the north-east, would be a flexible, social space space bordered by the new Central Library, the Christchurch Cathedral, and the Novotel Hotel. The Plaza would host gatherings of up to 5,000 people and would be a place for remembrance services (with Post Office Place taking the overflow), and also for celebrating the city's youth. It would have a strong connection with the new Central Library, and would have street furniture with the flexibility to be rearranged for an ever-chaning schedule of youth-focused events.


Cathedral Gardens

On the south and east side of the Cathedral, and on part of the site of a former urupā, a series of carefully landscaped, interconnected gardens would provide a sheltered, tranquil, family-friendly refuge in the centre of the city. The gardens would draw their inspiration from the Christchurch landscape, and the space's unique cultural heritage and importance to local iwi.


What do you think? Give your feedback here.


Read about the other key moves.



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