The government has heeded warnings Christchurch needs a populated heart and opted for denser inner city living than the draft blueprint for the shattered city delivered last December.
See the full blueprint at ccdu.govt.nz/
Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee said that is the most significant change to the draft plan, which was based initially on community consultations following a series of earthquakes which largely destroyed the central business district and rendered thousands of homes uninhabitable.
Releasing the full Recovery Plan this evening in Christchurch, Brownlee called it "a blueprint for a smaller, greener central city that will set Christchurch apart from any other urban centre."
The plan sees the city divided into precincts: health, arts and entertainment, retail, and the justice and emergency sectors.
The city will take shape around a "large L-shaped green space", with low-density open space running along an "eastern frame" from Kilmore Street to St Asaph Street, encapsulating a block-width of land between Madras and Manchester Streets.
THE 10 ANCHOR PROJECTS - click map above to enlarge image.
"It’s expected new urban living apartments will be developed along the edge of this space," said Brownlee. "The most significant change from the draft and is likely to enhance the economic value of the area and promote denser central city development."
The southern part of the frame will be an educational, health and innovation area, from Madras Street to Hagley Avenue. This will cover a block-width of land between Tuam and St Asaph Streets will be a campus-style area, with a walkway and cycleway, sited between the hospital and the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT) site.
Brownlee described "a light, airy, college-campus style feel for the home of numerous innovative Christchurch companies and public sector agencies,” understood to include the Christchurch campus of the government's new innovation agency, the Advanced Technology Institute.
Facilities for high performance sports, health and innovation, and a new convention centre are also included.
A carefully coordinated series of endorsements surrounded the release, with the CERA Community Forum calling for a united approach to the plan after long consultations to produce a plan that "broadly" reflected community consensus.
"The focus should not be on what’s wrong with the plan rather it should acknowledge its vision. It should also have the flexibility to include community needs as the recovery progresses," said the forum's chair, Trevor McIntyre.
"The business community and interested investors finally have a broad-brush urban plan that recognises a way forward that can provide confidence to reinvest capital back into the central city."
The new convention centre will cater for up to 2000 people, will connect the Square to the Avon River precinct, and is intended as a catalyst for hotel investment.