Christchurch: Australasia's up-and-coming city

22nd February 2012

Despite Christchurch being ravaged by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake last February, it is fast re-emerging as one of the most exciting cities in New Zealand and Australasia

On 22 February 2011, 60% of Christchurch's historic centre was destroyed in a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. In the following months, aftershocks and further earthquakes continued to shake the largest city on New Zealand's South Island.

However, due to a number of exciting and innovative developments since, Christchurch has now been named one of ten cities predicted to shape the next century by Foreign Policy magazine.

Mayor of Christchurch Bob Parker talked about the city's regeneration: “We're on the cusp of perhaps the most exciting series of changes and events that any metropolitan area could truly ever imagine.”

Among the new developments are a number of pop-up attractions and cardboard buildings. Since being destroyed by last year's earthquakes, the Cashel Mall is now a maze of vibrant, glass-fronted shipping containers.

Christchurch's iconic cathedral was considerably damaged in the earthquake and will have to be completely rebuilt. In the interim, a cardboard cathedral will be built and used for religious services and concerts. The temporary structure will be constructed from reinforced, waterproof cardboard and shipping containers, allowing for easy relocation or a swift bit of recycling once the permanent cathedral has been rebuilt.

While sites are waiting to be regenerated, 'Gap Fillers' have also popped up around Christchurch. These are temporary creative sites that fill and use vacant spaces. Some are small art galleries or simple book-vending machines; others house coffee shops and outdoor cinemas, pedal powered by the audience.

Despite a severe rattling from the earthquake, it is clear that Christchurch and its residents are fighting back.

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 Your Comments (1)

  • 22nd February by Lainecloud

    glad to read a positive article on Christchurch for a change after all of the misery and bad luck they've had over the last year.

    Fingers crossed for a better and brighter future.

    Kia Kaha Christchurch-ians!!

    Report as inappropriate



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