Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Christchurch: Is "quite good" good enough?

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  • Lilith __, in reply to Hebe,

    Pegasus land has yet to convince me; it’s a good distance from the faults that have gone so far

    Brooklands, Pines Beach and Waikuku Beach all had severe damage. OK Pegasus is further inland from the beach, but still.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to tim oliver,

    There is going to be a *lot* of opposition to a new cricket ground in Hagley Park. I’m half thinking it’s there as a sacrificial duck.

    Undoubtedly. Every city plan needs a good lightning rod.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2880 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    While the Rebuild Plan looks good on paper, we'll just have to wait if it can answer the ultimate question: can it reverse the long-time mall-ification of ChCh?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5328 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    An interesting article in today’s SMH about the mistakes Sydney made with Homebush and Darling Harbour, which resonate with me in relation to the this Christchurch plan:

    Like Darling Harbour, whose failure we now blame on the bicentenary rush, the Homebush development began with a development corporation concerned mainly with marking its territory. The master plan, therefore, dropped a dozen or so unapproachable buildings like poached eggs into a sea of brick paving, then girdled the lot with impenetrables.

    Nice to see a newspaper actually talking about town planning.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers, in reply to Katita,

    A planned city ... Canberra. Enough said (for anyone who has ever tried living there).

    Canberra. Shudder. On the other hand, I did just spend two years living in another planned city, Milton Keynes, and that was ... okay. But the thing that made living in MK bearable was that it's only 35 minutes on the fast train to London. There aren't many stimulating places you can escape to 35 minutes out of Canberra.

    As for this CHC plan. God. It looks like the Key administration, expressed as architecture. No meaningful public transport option? Check. Giant, quasi-fascistic stadia to indulge our sporting obsessions and amnesias? Check? Meaningless, arid, post-modern convention spaces for ... what, exactly? Check. Complete lack of interest in actually remedying the real social problems in the city, particularly Out East? Check. I mean, Jesus. I give up.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • andrew gunn,

    I like it. So does just about everyone I've talked with.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2009 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to andrew gunn,

    Any particular aspects? Genuinely interested.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • andrew gunn,

    I like the green frame and the compact core. I like the greater space along the Avon. I like the precincts and the fact that most everything is within walking distance.

    The argument that it does nothing for the suburbs is a red herring. This is the plan for the central city. There are many many residents in dire straits who deserve more help, but it need not be an either-or proposition.

    There are unresolved issues: how to stop areas becoming empty spaces at times when major facilities aren't being used; how it will link in with wider public transport; how it will be paid for (I see the council is resisting asset sales, and good on them). And the stadium will continue to be a hot potato. I hope these things can be sorted out.

    But look: the old Christchurch centre wasn't perfect. There was always talk of how best to revitalise it. And now many of the remaining good bits are being dismantled before our eyes. They have to be, of course, but like a classic rock radio station the hits just keep on coming. Today there is a hole where the old railway station clock was. I liked that clock.

    So the fact that now there is a plan that's a giant leap better than what we have at present and, I think, a whole lot better than we had before – it feels good. As Gerard Smyth said on National Radio this week, finally we have something to look forward to.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2009 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to andrew gunn,

    Thanks

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to andrew gunn,

    I agree with all of your comments. But, as ’everyone” says, the devil is in the detail. One detail is that the green frame is not a Hagley Park-type forever green space; the CCDU reserves the right to flog it off as deemed necessary; in other words a big landbank that will be sold off when the compact core is full and will help recover the govt’s money.
    Another detail: there are a huge number of amendments to the City Plan. Some are far-reaching. See the plan and the amendments here: http://ccdu.govt.nz/the-plan

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2880 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Found this take on the Frame interesting (and sadly all too plausible):

    The ‘frame’, the green space is nice but lets be honest about its purpose. The Christchurch CBD already had too much retail space before the earthquakes. With 10% of the population gone, the CBD doesn’t need to be rebuilt as big. That should mean big reductions in the value of the land (which could, in turn, lead to building of apartments and low rise retail, creating a vibrant environment). Instead, the taxpayer is going to buy out all the surplus land at present value – protecting the value for both the landlords who get bought out and those who remain. And the only one who pays is the taxpayer.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hebe,

    there are a huge number of amendments to the City Plan. Some are far-reaching

    Can you spell some of them out for us. Haven't had time to read through that appendix yet.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Sacha,

    Some of that protecting value would appear to be true but I reckon the frame is a landbank and sop to the green desires of the “make a wish” consultation. When that compacted core fills up, and I’m picking that won’t take too many decades – 10 to 15 years? – the govt will sell the by then high-priced land and recover costs. Some of the deals will be land swaps rather than buy-outs, and the council will probably be in on that as it has surplus chunks through the whole city.

    I can’t reliably interpret the city plan amendments because I don’t know enough. Others on PA will know far more.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2880 posts Report Reply

  • Ed Muzik, in reply to Hebe,

    Some of that protecting value would appear to be true but I reckon the frame is a landbank and sop to the green desires of the “make a wish” consultation.

    I agree with the landbanking and the comment about playing to green desires. I think it says a lot about this government's view on "green" issues - people called for a "green city" through share an idea, and so the government is saying "look - we listened! Lots of parks!". When actually as much, if not more, of the "green city" argument was around sustainability in a broad context - public transport options so we can reduce a dependency on cars and a need for carparks; streets with a more human scale so that pedestrians and cyclists felt more comfortable; development of mixed-used 3-4 storey buildings that brought businesses, offices and residents together into a more sustainable community. Those points - arguably more important than "green space" (after all, it's not like Christchurch was lacking in green space in the central city *cough* Hagley Park *cough*) - have been left by the wayside somewhat.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ed Muzik,

    people called for a "green city" through share an idea, and so the government is saying "look - we listened! Lots of parks!

    Well, one big park, which is hardly the same thing. I'm delighted by the Avon park plan, but mixed-use central neighbourhoods and sustainable buildings seem to have lost the fight against profitable tilt-slabbery.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Ed Muzik,

    Well said Ed! Please run for council.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2880 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Well I just watched 3 News with regard Insurance peeps fronting up to Cantabrians. Some of the most conservative people I have seen in a long time. Almost tears. First time despair.Lots of elderly.I think they are feeling really alone. They need some sort of support now. Their age is indicative of the big picture of abandonment down there. It’s so wrong. Fuck this Government.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Ed Muzik,

    – people called for a “green city” through share an idea, and so the government is saying “look – we listened! Lots of parks!”. When actually as much, if not more, of the “green city” argument was around sustainability in a broad context – public transport options so we can reduce a dependency on cars and a need for carparks; streets with a more human scale so that pedestrians and cyclists felt more comfortable; development of mixed-used 3-4 storey buildings that brought businesses, offices and residents together into a more sustainable community.

    This.

    And BTW it's great to have you on PAS, Ed Muzik! Your long form is even better than your tweets. :-)

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to andrew gunn,

    like a classic rock radio station the hits just keep on coming

    You said a bunch, andrew.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Attachment Attachment

    I took some photos the other day of bits of things. Buildings reduced to their component materials.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3884 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Their age is indicative of the big picture of abandonment down there. It’s so wrong. Fuck this Government.

    YES.

    A government/social set-up that puts stadiums & convention centres & cathedrals ahead of thousands of devastated households __who still dont
    have good water supplies &/or working loos &/or functioning houses…which is THE priority - not the other kind city building-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Ed Muzik, in reply to Lilith __,

    And BTW it’s great to have you on PAS, Ed Muzik! Your long form is even better than your tweets. :-)

    Cheers! I think people who read my tweets think I'm really angry and cynical ... which is probably true. But I also have a weekly column in the local rag the Mail, which is now delivered with the Press on Thursdays I think. I have to somewhat temper my language for that format :-)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Ed Muzik,

    Also, Mike Coleman is quoted in the paper this morning with a leak from the council that suggests the three big ticket items – stadium, convention centre, metro sports hub – will come to 1.2 billion. I was talking to someone in the know – ironically enough, at a gallery opening for the Art Gallery, being held at NG Space – who said that the costings were appalling. Will be very interesting to see Brownlee having to front up to questions about cost in the next few weeks – he can’t continue to say that it’s up to the council, when he is the one who decided on these things.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ed Muzik,

    the three big ticket items – stadium, convention centre, metro sports hub – will come to 1.2 billion

    Press story here.

    The $1.2b price tag was about $720 million more than budgeted for in the city council's annual plan.

    Coleman's source said the stadium would cost $506m, the convention centre $460m and the sports facility $227m.

    Now there must be some assets sitting around that the private sector would like to buy for about $720m..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    and in case we're in any doubt about who was in charge..

    Miskell can at last afford to relax after the "100 days" allowed his small group, co-led with Peter Marshall, managing director of Christchurch architects Warren and Mahoney, to re-invent a city.

    A hundred days, Miskell scoffs. It was 80 days by the time the contract was actually awarded by Cera's Christchurch Central Development Unit (CCDU).

    And this in turn became effectively 42 days because 90 per cent of the plan had to be complete by June 29, giving the Government an early chance to say whether it liked the direction the work was headed.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

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