Christchurch

It’s slow progress in Christchurch with the demolition and rebuild, but each time I go there and have a look around, it’s changed a little. Life must still be quite difficult for many people, with damaged streets, broken houses and financial difficulties.

What’s amazing is the awesome display of human creativity. Here’s a quick tour around the city centre.

Christchurch Cathedral:

006 Christchurch Cathedral (400x300)

Cardboard Cathedral:

001 Cardboard Cathedral (400x300)

There are lots of temporary pocket parks all across the centre. Here’s a
Department of Conservation park for kids:

002 DOC Park fuer Kinder (400x300)

Temporary vegetable garden:

008 temporaerer Gemuesegarten (400x300)

Another pocket park -note the mural in the background:

007 Park und Wandgemaelde (400x300)

Another mural:

010 Wandgemaelde (400x300)

And another one of many – Christchurch must be the global capital of murals at the moment:

012 Wandgemaelde (400x300)

Temporary art installation and a lonely tall building still standing:

004 temporaere Kunst im Zentrum (300x400)

Even fencing is used as a canvas for creativity:

011 Bauzaun (400x300)

With most of the buildings gone, unexpected views of the surrounding hills have opened up:

013 Aussicht in die Huegel (400x300)

While slow, there’s evidence that the rebuild has started. Here’s New Regent St restored:

003 New Regent St (400x300)

And that’s the first brand new building that I’ve seen:

014 ein erstes neues Gebaeude (400x300)

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Christchurch weekend

Gregor and I spent a weekend in Christchurch a couple of weeks ago. The city has changed hugely since our last visit the previous year. What was a CBD zombie of deserted shops and offices now is grey vacant lots, and a skyline of a handful of empty tall buildings and big cranes:

Christchurch CBD

The machinery used for pulling down buildings is quite impressive as they are big beasts:

Big digger

With so many buildings now having been brought down, things that have been out of sight for about half a century now have come to light again like this advertisement:

Advertisement from the 50s

In some of the vacant lots, things have started to happen. It’s mostly car parks that have sprung up, but there are also some more interesting creative things.

Here’s a little memorial made of 185 stones from an old quake damaged building that was pulled down. The 185 stones symbolise the 185 people who died in the quake:

Memorial

Some quirky sports fields have been created. We saw a small soccer field, and here’s a small BMX park:

BMX park

Then there are some vacant lots where temporary parks have been installed, like this tiny pocket park:

Pocket park

Christchurch is probably one of the most interesting places in NZ to visit, for years to come. There are very few places where you can see what an earthquake does to a city in the developed world, and how it’s being dealt with by government and the community.

We’ll definitely be back again next year.