Monday, May 6, 2013

My Thoughts on the Rebuild of Christchurch

Around dinner tables and in cafĂ©’s around the city, folks chat about the progress or lack thereof in Christchurch. It seems everyone has an opinion. And rightly so, it is our city. I’ve heard a few conversations about how our beautiful city is going to be replaced with a bunch of ugly tilt slab buildings.

The thing is, yes we want a beautiful city, but the flip side is we need a city. We need buildings and businesses and all that entails. We need it now. I read yesterday there’s still another year of demolitions. Time is ticking on the clock, the people of Christchurch can not wait for ever. Also the supply of money is limited, I’m pretty sure I don’t need to explain all that to anyone.

In fifty years time, imagine what Christchurch will look like. Yes it might have some ugly buildings, I’m pretty sure it will not be exactly like the dreams the visionaries have right now. Hopefully there will be lots of green spaces and beautiful trees.

But that is ok. The earthquakes have devastated Christchurch. Earthquakes have devastated the people of Christchurch. In fifty years time the important thing won’t be how the city looks, it will be how the people live in that city. Visitors to Christchurch might remark on the beautiful gardens and the established trees, they might remark on the ugly buildings.

But what they will go away with will be their memories of the Christchurch people, the creative and interesting vibe that the city has. The back drop may end up dull and a little grey, but the people who have reinvented themselves will be what dresses up the city of Christchurch and make it a place everyone wants to visit.

It’s already begun with things like Gapfiller and all the amazing graffiti art and the Art Gallery Installations. What if we just got on with rebuilding in the best way we can and focus on being as creative as we can in the way we live in this city.

That’s my five cents worth anyhow.
What do you think??


  1. I agree Deb. I think the bones of the city need to be rebuilt ASAP. The decorative bits can be added later. Chch is lucky to have the Park and the rivers and I'm sure it will be beautiful again.

  2. The people and the environment around them can make a massive difference to how one perceives a city. Modern does not have to mean ugly. Tilt slab does not have to be plain - it can be "embossed" and have leaves and branches and critters' silhouettes in it. It can be painted and decorated and made to look beautiful. Look at the apartment buildings built after WWII in old town Munich. They are plain but they have been painted to make them look much fancier than they are.
    Your city has to be made safe and liveable for the people who live there and the people who will visit and the people who will be born there.

  3. Heartbreaking photos Deb -
    I have no opinion on the re build, however, my opinion on the people is they are full of love hope courage and strength and I love them to bits

  4. You're right the one thing that stood out to me was the sense of community aswell as the creativeness that was found around, just about every corner of the city....I agree that's the avenue to go on, as I think at the end of the day that's what make's it a beautiful city to live in :)

  5. Yep Deb, its so hard to look at at the moment. I am finding the longer I look at empty sections the more depressing it becomes. It feels like nothing is happening, Christchurch looks and feels empty. I want to live in a city again and soon! I want to feel the fullness of the City family again and I want to stop running on empty. xx

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Trying to focus on the people because I have no plans to leave... Job and family here. I drove down Manchester St for the first time last week and I cried... Heartbreaking.

    May 7, 2013 at 1:55 AM

  8. So true Deb, when I was up there a couple of weeks ago, it of course made me really sad, but I loved the Restart Mall, the vibe and the buzz was great. I'm looking forward to coming back soon to check out New Regency street and into the centre. Of course it's devastatingly sad, what has been lost,but as long as the people are looked after it will get better.

  9. I have to agree with you. "Pretty" takes time and thought but it's functional you need now and the inhabitants of each building can "dress" it to suit their style and change the "clothing" as they find something that best depicts their purpose/tastes. The ugly tilt slab buildings can become a constant and interesting work in progress to show that it's not looks that matter but the heart/hearts inside. You guys have a lot of that!
    Cheers, Rob xo

  10. Pre earthquake we had visited Christchurch once and flew through on our way to Akaroa. I felt no connection to the city at all. I have visited twice post earthquake and I have to say I am a little in love with Christchurch. I have wondered why I feel such a connection to the city now. I think it's because of the people. The heart and valour of the city which means the people. I have no opinion on the re-build and don't think it's my place to have one.
    All I know is that I can't wait to visit again xxx

  11. I love your sentiments about creativity. I have no understanding of how hard life is in Christchurch but when you see the positive things coming out of the rubble amongst the hardship I think there is a bright glimmer of hope for another beautiful Christchurch. xx


Thanks so much for dropping by. I love to hear from you and I want you to know that I really appreciate each comment!!