The Government has announced it intends to push through emergency legislation, with the support of other parties, to expedite the rebuilding of Christchurch. The urge to put things back the way they were is only natural in the wake of a huge physical and psychic shock but let’s take a pause. Let’s have a think how we want Christchurch rebuilt before we let anyone go ahead willy-nilly.
I heard an architect on the radio the other morning saying that there was actually a lot of vacant commercial space in Christchurch due to the recession and the demand to rebuild the lost commercial buildings will be correspondingly smaller. He feared beautiful old buildings that he believed could be saved would be hurriedly torn down and replaced with low-rise soulless offices and that the heart of Christchurch would be further weakened as businesses moved out to the suburban commercial districts.
Maybe there’s an opportunity now to revive Christchurch’s dull CBD by building more apartment buildings, which would also help with the housing crisis the city is facing.
I don’t know. I just think that taking a little time to come up with a coherent vision of what Christchurch could be like is a chance to take some good from this disaster. It worked for Napier. What do you think?