Tough Decisions re Rebuilding the CBD After an Earthquake – Christchurch, NZ

Christchurch Cathedral

Image by jay galvin via Flickr

In an opinion piece in a NZ paper, the authors suggests that it is not possible to rebuild the Central Business District in Christchurch, NZ.  The issues he raises should be pertinent to other communities facing rebuilding decisions.

CBD can’t be rebuilt – Bob Jones. Some of the essential information is as follows:

Prior to the earthquakes, Christchurch’s CBD retail heart was already in trouble, with empty shops abounding, while those remaining lived off the office workers, now gone. This was a direct consequence of the construction of large suburban shopping centres, which killed off the CBD as a retail location, just as has occurred in many other cities throughout the Western World. Examples in New Zealand include Lower Hutt and now, increasingly, Hamilton.

It would be possible to build a new, smaller Christchurch CBD with high-rise office buildings to support a smaller retail base, if the office buildings were confined to a tight area. But while that is physically possible, it is absolutely not financially feasible for several reasons.

One thought on “Tough Decisions re Rebuilding the CBD After an Earthquake – Christchurch, NZ

  1. Time to expand the parks and leave ChristChurch to its memories and utilize the opportunity to move to more productive locations. Tough but wisest choice. After all now they know the fault is going to cause future problems.

    Apparently despite the efforts of San Francisco to argue the fire did the damage the growth of LA was largely due to the earthquake in San Francisco. Little did they understand of course that LA also sat on major fault lines.

    Perhaps the era of new city building is not over. Interesting choice in locating Washington DC and lucky that relatively safe from natural hazards. But the Washington monument damage shows DC not immune.

    Good luck KIWIs!

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