Hard News by Russell Brown

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

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  • Sacha, in reply to Ed Muzik,

    Will be interesting to see what sort of cost is forecast for a roof

    Seems Dunedin will pay some of that cost in further-reduced demand for their own similar venue.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Tuo Lei,

    I suggest for those interested that they check out Warwick Isaacs chat with The Press.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/7383617/Live-chat-Blueprint-chief-Warwick-Isaacs

    Some of the answers around inner city residential etc are on there.

    jiducheng • Since Dec 2011 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • James Caygill, in reply to Sacha,

    I couldn’t tell either. You can download the Apendix with the District Plan changes from the top of the main CBDU Plan page. Be interested to hear more about what your expert eyes make of it.

    Just some quick thoughts...

    Well Residential is a permitted activity in the CBD. They've set minimum unit sizes (the detail of which I'm not qualified to judge - but presumably to stop shoeboxes) - and they seem to be wanting everything to go through an urban design panel so there is some hope.

    There's basically two zones, the business zone and a "Mixed Use Zone". Residential is in both but with differing density/outdoor space requirements....

    Looks good initially - but note - I am not a planner.

    Christchurch • Since Oct 2007 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • James Caygill, in reply to Sacha,

    Job #1 is to make sure private sector investors (especially bearing foreign currency) have their needs met, hence the flavour of crowd at the launch event. Think of this plan first and foremost as a reassuring investment prospectus. Which is not to say it is necessarily a bad plan for that.

    Got it in one. Without foreign investment none of this works.

    Christchurch • Since Oct 2007 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    My first thought was “where is the capitalism”? There is a “retail” precinct which appears tiny and everything else is a government office or a quango. The people will vanish after work, and apart from cafes that serve the workers their lunch I would suggest that the retail section will struggle. Downtown Christchurch appears to be so well laid out that it could be mistaken for a corpse, a sort of splendid mini-Canberra isolated from the rest of the city by monumental earthworks. More to the point, the plan is an explicit admission of defeat of the very idea of a vibrant “city”. Christchurch is going to become a series of connected suburbs, a monument to the anti-urbanism and middle class mediocrity that is this government’s vision of what constitutes the good life in New Zealand. The dead hand of Brownlee is everywhere in this plan.

    The reality of life in Christchurch post earthquake is actually going to be a decentralised existence lived in big box shopping complexes of K-marts, Mitre 10 Mega stores, Harvey Normans and Pack n Save – Mt. Wellington as a model of urban living. They will of course all be connected by clogged four lane dual carriageways. Work in Addington, shop in Wigram, live in Riccarton, holiday at the bach. SUV owners only need apply.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    The reality of life in Christchurch post earthquake is actually going to be a decentralised existence lived in big box shopping complexes of K-marts, Mitre 10 Mega stores, Harvey Normans and Pack n Save – Mt. Wellington as a model of urban living. They will of course all connected by clogged four lane dual carriageways. Work in Addington, shop in Wigram, live in Riccarton, holiday at the bach. SUV owners only need apply.

    Without wishing to be pessimistic....

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Without wishing to be pessimistic….

    Well, I think anyone who looks at what uncontrolled development looks like in Texas or Queensland might conclude this is what a lot – maybe a majority – of people currently want. And that is exactly the discussion that hasn’t been had - how sustainable that might be, how to offer the same sort of convenience in a post-automobile future.

    I know people have been asked what they want, but I am not sure if the bucolic existence people SAY they want at all aligns with the actual realities of their lives, which revolve around getting to and from work and hopefully having a good supermarket handy on the way.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Well, I think anyone who looks at what uncontrolled development looks like in Texas or Queensland might conclude this is what a lot – maybe a majority – of people currently want. And that is exactly the discussion that hasn’t been had.

    But isn't the whole point that this development is controlled?

    And as for discussion, we had a very lengthy public submission process here -- Share An Idea -- to which 40,000 people contributed.

    Fewer cars in the Central City, greater use of the Avon corridor as a pedestrian/cycle route and integration of the tram into the public transport network are some of the emerging themes from the 40,000 ideas Greater Christchurch residents have shared for the redevelopment of the Central City.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    It's got some good ideas. Challenges will be to find enough dosh to make it safe and durable on what is clearly some of the most unstable soil in Canterbury while not pricing rents beyond a sustainable level, and to integrate it with a renewal of the eastern suburbs. Without the latter it would be very divisive. Apart from that I'd like to see more for the arts, more of a focus on Maori culture, and street lights that don't ruin the night sky (please!).

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tuo Lei,

    Thanks. Useful.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Barnaby Bennett,

    After watching the announcement and attending a meeting of designers and historians to discuss I quickly penned this response last night. Which seems to have been reinforced by todays commentary. Seems to me the themes are: Not a disaster, but needs lots more finesse and detail to make it work. Lack of mixed use is a big problem. Precincts are far too big, and too many of them. The Frame is an interesting idea, but has urban design issues. Stadium is odd. We need more details! Costings! Timelines!

    http://www.projectfreerange.com/another-new-city-plan-for-christchurch/

    "In short, it doesn’t seem like enough information to justify 100 days of hard work by a large team of international and national designers and planners. If we accept that everyone was working really hard to achieve this vision, then we have two options, either I’m underestimating what it takes to get to this level of details, or there is a lot of decision making that has taken place that is not in this plan. I’ve seen small teams of architecture or design students produce as much as this in 100 days before, so I’m led to believe the gritty detail in this has been left out on purpose. I’m also inclined to belief that some big and controversial decisions have been made and not announced today to protect the good news of the delivery. The absence of any announcement on the town hall is characteristic of this. It doesn’t appear in the plan, and rumour suggests that a decision has been made for it to be demolished, yet it makes only some vague comment about it, with no information about land quality, cost, or decision making criteria."

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • Ed Muzik, in reply to Lilith __,

    Wondering how many people in Share an Idea advocated for a covered stadium or Hagley Oval.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Emma Hart,

    how this has been done, and how it will be. I mean, we had a plan for the Central City ages go,

    And before that plan, there was another plan that the CCC buried because it wasn't the current mayor's plan. And so it went in Christchurch for years. Now at last a plan may be adopted and completed.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    When I was in Christchurch a few weeks ago, I heard a lot of mumblings about people wanting a covered stadium, but the Council had put the kibosh on it. Try going to the rugby in minus three degrees weather (as I did) and you soon understand why it'd be a great thing to have. Whether it's worth the cost is another matter.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Phil fryer,

    I see the current proposal,as grandstanding natrats,for votes to let their mates make more money,quality of lives for those affected, doesn't SEEM to be the major
    consideration !

    Laingholm • Since Mar 2011 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin, in reply to James W,

    You are spot on with the advantages of an enclosed stadium down this way. One down side is that cricket can’t be played in a stadium with a roof. I understand that there are plans for a separate cricket ground, which might yet auger well for a roofed venue happening.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Ed Muzik, in reply to Peter Martin,

    Woah, hold up. You know how you could avoid playing in 3 degrees? Play games in the afternoon. Oh, Sky won't let you? Then why the hell aren't they paying for the goddamn stadium, rather than ratepayers.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Fewer cars in the Central City, greater use of the Avon corridor as a pedestrian/cycle route and integration of the tram into the public transport network are some of the emerging themes from the 40,000 ideas Greater Christchurch residents have shared for the redevelopment of the Central City.

    I accept that this is the sort of feedback that emerged when people were quizzed on what they thought might be in an idealized city. But it seems to me that green corridors and good public transport are kind of soft-focus Mum and apple pie suggestions that as they are don’t actually tackle the actual nuts and bolts of modern living. I wonder for example how deeply people were probed on the reality of how they actually live their lives, and what the things they generally regard as making their lives more convenient might be. I would guess a whole different set of responses would emerge. For example, it is great to have a lovely river park, but wouldn’t it be better to line that river park with high density residential housing so that it is actually practical for someone living there to punt their beloved down the river on a summers day? Trams are fabulous and picturesque, but shouldn’t some thought be given to why people would use them if there was nothing going on downtown on the weekend? The idea should be to integrate people into a friendly, scaled urban landscape, not treat them as occasional interlopers into a foreign city’s downtown where they can marvel at the monumental works of Ozymandias before returning to their mundane suburban existence.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2213 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Ed Muzik,

    Wondering how many people in Share an Idea advocated for a covered stadium or Hagley Oval.

    Yeah. Would be good to see a more detailed summary of the main themes.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    The idea should be to integrate people into a friendly, scaled urban landscape, not treat them as occasional interlopers into a foreign city’s downtown where they can marvel at the monumental works of Ozymandias before returning to their mundane suburban existence.

    You seem to be talking about Auckland.

    And you seem to believe people made submissions they didn't really mean. Given the effort required in making a submission, and how many Chch people I know who are really passionate about creating a vibrant central city, I think that's really patronising.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James W,

    When I was in Christchurch a few weeks ago, I heard a lot of mumblings about people wanting a covered stadium, but the Council had put the kibosh on it. Try going to the rugby in minus three degrees weather (as I did) and you soon understand why it’d be a great thing to have. Whether it’s worth the cost is another matter.

    Given Christchurch's sporting heritage, I imagine a covered stadium would be very popular -- but as you say, who's going to pay for it?

    The idea of a test-quality cricket ground on Hagley Park, a short walk from the CBD, also seems appealing -- especially given the new green space being opened up elsewhere in the plan. And it's not like the park hasn't been used for sport and recreation for decades.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    You seem to be talking about Auckland.

    Burn!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • James W, in reply to Ed Muzik,

    Woah, hold up. You know how you could avoid playing in 3 degrees? Play games in the afternoon. Oh, Sky won’t let you? Then why the hell aren’t they paying for the goddamn stadium, rather than ratepayers.

    Good point. And since it's the NZRU who get all that money from Sky, why don't the they pay for it?

    BTW, all this stadium talk reminds me of the superb SonicsGate documentary, which shows how fucked up the whole city-paying-for-stadium-to-subsidise-professional-sport circus can get:

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The idea of a test-quality cricket ground on Hagley Park, a short walk from the CBD, also seems appealing

    I seem to be the person in Chch who's in favour of the Hagley Oval upgrade. A proper for-real test cricket venue in Christchurch? Yes fucking please. Auckland doesn't currently have an international test ground. Parking is a concern, yeah, but there's no street parking round the Basin Reserve, either.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    convenient

    I guess that's one value people might have. More to life than that - and this plan has to work for 20, 50, 100 years, not just today's idea of what is important.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

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