Some forward-looking thoughts on Christchurch

Whilst NZPI is currently focused on supporting the broader community of Christchurch through the recovery phase following the devastating earthquake on 22/2, there will come a point when Christchurch city leaders, government and NZPI will be able to turn their thoughts and energies to planning and rebuilding the garden city. 

At that point there are some fundamental, big picture questions that communities within Christchurch will want to consider and resolve, for example, what land is appropriate to build on, what do communities want their city to be like , will the heart of the city remain or move and what will it look like, and are there opportunities are for new infrastructure development and investment? 

Getting the process right to frame and resolve those fundamental questions as a community will be vital to the future wellbeing of the City and surrounds. NZPI will be offering its expertise and support to local leadership and make a wider contribution to the communities and city of Christchurch in this planning phase. 

"Whilst there are a number of professions that will and must contribute to the rebuilding of the Garden City, it will be the planning profession that will be looked upon to facilitate and deliver a holistic, big picture, informed and aligned planning framework and process that reflects the community's needs, and wishes,” says NZPI president Jane Douglas. “This is a massive but important task if Christchurch is to enjoy the renaissance that we all want to see.” 

NZPI has already discussed a number of ways in which it can contribute to that task and will be communicating that thinking to Christchurch leaders and government Ministers in the near future. We have also acted quickly to secure national and international planning expertise that can be called on to support local efforts to plan for the city's future. That expertise includes international planners who have experience in planning the rebuilding of cities following earthquakes in Japan and Australia and a tsunami in Sri Lanka. However it will also be important to ensure that solutions are New Zealand and Christchurch solutions and not those imposed from elsewhere. In that regard NZPI see’s New Zealand planners and particularly those in Christchurch being at the forefront of this work. 

"The future of Christchurch lies in the hands of the people of Christchurch, it is their views and needs that must inform and guide the planning that has yet to happen. NZPI will be walking beside local leadership and Government to facilitate a plan that gives those people the thriving, vibrant and economically viable city they truly deserve and that New Zealand very much needs,” says Douglas.

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