Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The greening of the Red Zone

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  • Sacha,

    Wow. It really does look like the country.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Great pics. Very, very sobering images. I expect a lot of the people that lived in those streets are sick of talking about the 'quake and subsequent issues, but it'd be fascinating to take some of them back to where their houses once were and to interview them about their life their in general.
    There'd be some great memories and anecdotes, I reckon.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Sacha,

    Wow. It really does look like the country.

    It really does. Some parts - around Banks Ave for instance - are beautiful because the soil is great and the remaining large garden shrubs and trees are flourishing. (Some are flatter, more windswept and bleak because of exposure to the winds and the changes in groundwater levels.)

    I was there last Tuesday, meandering back to town from a trip to the doctor. It was a stunning warm day and I thought "I'd really like to live round here". Odd given everything - but maybe if the house was self-contained with a composting toilet, PV, rainwater harvesting, and was on shakeproof high piles it would work.

    I am intrigued with the possibilities for the river red zone. It is an enormous sweep that now connects the built city with the coast and the estuary. I hope much of it becomes a wildlife reserve and recreation area with the possibility of alleviating the flooding and land subsidence in the rest of Christchurch.

    Food forests, allotments, rowing courses, so many ideas.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    PS Nice photos Russell.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • leftydave,

    doom

    Dunedin • Since Mar 2015 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hebe,

    It really does. Some parts – around Banks Ave for instance – are beautiful because the soil is great and the remaining large garden shrubs and trees are flourishing.

    I was quite struck by how important the trees are, big and small.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I was quite struck by how important the trees are, big and small.

    The trees all around town have been my touchstones all through. Amazing how few have succumbed when so much of the man-made world disappeared. Something something Thoreau...

    It’s odd how the houses are removed then the blank spaces are sowed in grass. I don’t know what else could have been done but it feels like the whole place is becoming a fenced-off park. Maintaining it all in some way is going to be a massive cost.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Arise Sir Veillance…

    (You are Scum, You are being watched) This warning on the last, lonely house in a cul de sac seems to be aimed at squatters.

    Looks more like renowned tagger and social misfit Cameron Slater managed a wee detour between school visits – publicising his upcoming pugilistic meeting of minds and heads with Jesse Ryder…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Grant McDougall,

    Rheum with a view...

    I expect a lot of the people that lived in those streets are sick of talking about the ’quake and subsequent issues, but it’d be fascinating to take some of them back to where their houses once were and to interview them about their life their in general.

    Paging Dr Haywood to triage...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Paging Dr Haywood to triage…

    I actually meant to take a photo of the former Hay-Haywood residence, but I rode past it without realising. It can be hard to work out where you are without the houses to navigate by.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hebe,

    it feels like the whole place is becoming a fenced-off park. Maintaining it all in some way is going to be a massive cost.

    Hell yes. I hope someone has a plan.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Hebe,

    restoring lawn order in Chchch...

    the blank spaces are sowed in grass.

    That green seed paste does work wonders - maybe they could also try processed excrement from the sewage works to start some tomato plantations in places...
    ...at least you'd know they were from hardy seed stock!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I hope someone has a plan

    We haz a plain - is that close?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Attachment

    a photo of the former Hay-Haywood residence

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    A few houses, presumably those posing health and safety probems for demolition crews, remain. But only a few

    Unfortunately uninsured and bare land has been an issue for some in the red zone which may be an answer to remaining houses. Highlighted this last week on Campbell Live, it was noted that a man was asking the Govt to pay 2007 value and not the half he was offered. Sounds like his prayers were answered.

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

  • Alice Ronald,

    Attachment

    I popped by Mum & Dad's former place on my birthday (the 22nd). Luckily the tree on the front fenceline is distinctive, so it's easy to spot :)

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 63 posts Report Reply

  • Ashley Campbell,

    Quite a few of us have plans :) The plan of the group I chair, Greening the Red Zone, it to return as much of the red zone as possible to its natural, native state and restore a bit of the balance in Christchurch's environment. We want native bush birds such as tui, kereru, fantails, grey warblers, morepork, kaka etc to be as common in Christchurch as our water birds and our exotic birds are. We want people to be able to walk, run, ride, kayak, canoe, maybe ride a horse, through a natural environment, from city to sea, all within the boundaries of a modern city. We want to see events such as the Christchurch Marathon and the Coast to Coast run (or bike) their final stages through a stunning native forest and wetland. We want in 100 years time, for residents of Christchurch to look back and remark on the foresight of those who saved this place for nature. If anyone wants to back that vision, you can follow us on Twitter @GtRZ_Chch or like us on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/AvonRiverPark. (You'll see even more photos on Facebook :) )

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2015 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    a photo of the former Hay-Haywood residence

    You can imagine my confusion.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ashley Campbell,

    Quite a few of us have plans :) The plan of the group I chair, Greening the Red Zone, it to return as much of the red zone as possible to its natural, native state and restore a bit of the balance in Christchurch’s environment. We want native bush birds such as tui, kereru, fantails, grey warblers, morepork, kaka etc to be as common in Christchurch as our water birds and our exotic birds are.

    Good stuff.

    What do you think about the many exotic trees that remain? Are any of them a problem? It seems good in principle to me to leave the garden trees that survived the earthquakes and now give the land much of its character.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Ashley Campbell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    We think every non-invasive tree that remains should stay. But when it dies naturally, it should be replaced by a native. It's a huge area, and there's no way it could all be returned to a pristine natural state in a short time. It'll take decades. So no need to remove anything that isn't in danger of spreading profusely (like plums, sycamores, elms, or even silver birches which are a problem for a whole other reason).There are also some proposed projects on the outskirts of the red zone for community gardens or patches of retained heritage exotic garden (that one around the Banks Ave area you are obviously familiar with) that while we don't promote, we don't have a problem with. We do, however, have a huge problem with the proposed rowing lake which just seems like over-engineered madness on geologically unsuitable land.

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2015 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    @Ashley, cool beans. Wrote this earlier when server was funny.

    So I presume they can't turn it into parks, or even pasture, because it's full of broken glass and splinters of this and that. It'd make a nice green belt, like Dunedin's, if it had rather more native trees and rather less power lines.

    A good heavy plough would solve the issue of surface debris by burying it all in place, and make it easier to plant out. Whatever parks you want to leave as open space for later can be kept cost-free by leasing them cheap for grazing livestock, someone's even built a whole bunch of rather nice fences already.

    Or is the Honourable Mr. Brownlee still in charge? Because then obviously what will happen is nothing. It's not like he can knock that over.

    Since Nov 2006 • 610 posts Report Reply

  • Ashley Campbell, in reply to tussock,

    Consultation is meant to begin later this year - when is anyone's guess. We're not overly keen on grass: Chch has heaps of it already, it's expensive to maintain (all that watering in a dry climate) and Canada geese love it. Much cheaper and more environmentally beneficial to restore some of the totara and kahikatea forests (yes!) and other wetlands that were here before :)

    New Zealand • Since Mar 2015 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Love the idea of a native corridor. Some fruit and nut trees along edges -permaculture -could work too. Driving through today it's also striking how high the river level is (or the land has sunk.) Flooding will be an issue so a wide swathe of kahikatea and swampy flax might be a useful buffer.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    My wish would be for as many people as possible to have a stake in the red zone land by dealing in all interest groups. It's so large that the city will need people to use it constantly, the Port Hills being a fine mixed-use model.

    One future use for the red zone must surely be as a way of alleviating the effect of rising sea levels on Christchurch: used in this way the quakes may be a blessing in the long term.

    The rowing course is not my interest but it would draw many people to use the area. It might be the political price of keeping the land overall.

    The human occupation is a huge part of the story of the area, so that should be recognised in some way.

    Farming is possible in parts; and could be a good way to use the Lincoln Uni agroeconomics expertise, especially a s that is identified as one of the key expansion areas for the NZ economy.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Love the idea of a native corridor. Some fruit and nut trees along edges -permaculture -could work too. Driving through today it’s also striking how high the river level is (or the land has sunk.)

    In some parts the river almost seemed to be the same level as the road.

    The native corridor and food forests and food-growing and gathering areas would be my choice too.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report Reply

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