While the earthquake is still so raw in everyone’s minds, it is difficult to think beyond immediate issues of survival and feelings of grief. However, at some point we will have to ask, “what now?”
I am in agreement with Rod Oram. The future for Christchurch lies in the opportunity to re-imagine the city as a place where excellence in design, livability and sustainability becomes the status quo. This is as important for the morale of Cantabrians as it is for attracting and sustaining local and global support in the months and years ahead.
International design competitions for urban projects and public buildings would help to keep focus and investment interest on the city once the dust settles. Involvement from relevant departments at tertiary institutes would encourage innovation and provide unparalleled learning opportunities for tomorrow’s building professionals and trades people - learning that could benefit the rest of the country and be exported globally.
The economic implications of last Tuesday’s earthquake will affect the whole country. Our best way forward is to commit boots and all to a future Christchurch that is an exemplar for both earthquake design and urban living. There can be no room for mediocrity.