In 2010 and 2011, a series of earthquakes struck Christchurch New Zealand's south island. The February 2011, magnitude 6.3 quake, destroyed vast areas of Christchurch and took over 180 lives. Approximately 80% of the CBD and its infrastructure was demolished, 100,000 houses were damaged and 10,000 homes were designated for demolition. An area more than four times the size of London’s Hyde Park was deemed uninhabitable. The Christchurch rebuild requires tens of thousands of workers, is estimated to cost over $40 billion NZ and will take over 15 years to complete. As a result, Christchurch is in the midst of an unprecedented opportunity to reconstruct an international city, to combine rich natural and cultural heritage, a deep economic base and best-practice 21st century urban design. To see an overview of the project visit: http://progressmap.ccdu.govt.nz/.
As one of New Zealand’s oldest cities and the South Island’s largest, Christchurch is known as “the Garden City”, and it is currently home to around 377,000 people from a variety of different cultures. “Many locals cannot remember what the central city used to look like. Gravel quadrants have replaced multi-storey buildings, creating lines of sight through the city that never existed before. Many of the buildings that still stand are boarded up, with steel fencing around them as they wait to be sold or demolished. The main strip of bars and restaurants that lined the river, and was the site of the city's main entertainment hub, is now an empty lot.Read More