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Visionary Concept For Central City South

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Bob Parker
Bob Parker

A draft Concept and Master Plan setting out the Christchurch City Council's vision for revitalising the Central City South precinct will be presented to the Council next week for consideration.

The vision is to redevelop the central city south with a mix of residential and commercial uses and an expanded lanes network. Mayor Bob Parker says the aim is to create a safe, vibrant central city where people live rather than simply visit for work and entertainment.

The concept builds on past Central City planning work that has included the City Mall, the tram route, the lanes network, and SOL Square. It was developed in consultation with engineers, architects, urban designers, and property developers.

Guiding principles in the plan include supporting mixed-used neighbourhoods, promoting residential development on the upper floors of buildings, keeping commercial spaces to a human scale and discouraging big-box development, continued development of lanes and piazzas, reusing buildings where practical, and promoting pedestrians rather than cars.

The plan includes redevelopment proposals for the City-owned properties in the precinct including the properties purchased last year from developer David Henderson, as well as the Civic Offices and City Creche in Tuam Street, the Tuam Street carpark, and the current Lichfield Bus Exchange.

A timeframe for the future developments will also be discussed by the Council next week.

Mr Parker said the Council was committed to the revitalisation of the Central City. The redevelopment of the Central City South, the area bounded by Lichfield, Madras Colombo and Dundas streets, "is a cornerstone of this revitalisation programme", he said.

Mr Parker says the area is ideal for residential development since it is already well-serviced with amenities such as supermarkets, cinemas, restaurants and cafes, education providers and a wide range of shopping.

The plan is to make it more attractive by developing an extended lanes network linking streetscapes north to south and east to west, with a series of piazzas and greenspaces.

"Our priorities for the Central City are to increase the number of residents, grow businesses, enhance public spaces, redevelop under-utilised sites, and improve transport," he said.

It is not the Council's intention to become a developer. The plan is to see the properties developed in line with the Council vision, with investors/developers buying the buildings with the covenant that they follow the vision.

The Concept and Master Plan is not a stand-alone strategy. It is part of a series of strategies, programmes and projects the Council has developed to support and progress its central city vision.

These include the Central City Revitalisation Strategy, the Central City Lanes Plan, Project City Mall, the Central City Transport Concept Plan, the Urban Design Panel and the Central City Parking Strategy.

"The success of the Central City is integral to the success of Christchurch as a whole, and that success is linked to the success of the region.

" As the heart of our community, the Central City is a demonstration of our past accomplishments and future aspirations. Recognising the importance of a vibrant core, the Council is firmly committed to an ambitious, long-term revitalisation programme," Mr Parker said.

The Central City South concept comes at a time when the Council is two years into implementing the Greater Christchurch Urban Development Strategy (UDS) the 35-year plan for greater Christchurch, and four years into the action plan in the Central City Revitalisation Strategy which is a key priority in the UDS.

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