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.
- In limbo (bbc.co.uk)