Though Christchurch in New Zealand is still recovering from the devastating earthquakes that claimed lives and destroyed building, the city is abuzz with the promise of a new built landscape. After the earthquakes shook the foundations of the city both physically and psychologically, the former bustling hub is now working towards rebuilding and revitalising.
“Many lives were tragically lost and thousands of homes and buildings destroyed in the earthquake on 22 February last year,” says Prime Minister John Key. “This redevelopment of the city will be testament to the past as well as an important step into the future.”
A new international design competition has been launched in order to garner architecture interest in the design and development of a new urban village in the city.
For Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker, the redevelopment is as much about the social elements as the functional.
“The winner of this competition will not only be creating a new place of living in our Central City but also a catalyst for change in the way the world thinks about communities and lifestyle choices,” he says. “We have been given a chance to change our living environment and as a city we need to embrace that opportunity.”
The area slated for redevelopment is located in the Avon River/Otakaro precinct, central to major community areas such as parklands and a new cultural precinct.
Entrants have been asked to present urban development plans that take into account the iconic nature of the world-class city and its importance as New Zealand’s second largest city. For this reason, the tenders are expected to be of the highest standards, with founding elements of sustainability, affordability, innovation and community orientation imperative to success.
“Central Christchurch has always been iconic and this competition to rebuild a bold and visionary inner city will see that tradition continue,” says New Zealand Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson. “It will create new icons and set an international benchmark for inner city living.”