Work has begun installing a range of transitional city projects within Christchurch's Central City which will bring new life and people back to the heart of the city.
"These low-cost, temporary projects are part of the Council's commitment to help support business and people back into the Central City by improving the environment, pedestrian safety and creating interest in the area," says Mayor Bob Parker.
Eels and raupo are being painted on Oxford Terrace, near Re:Start, as part of a temporary streetscape upgrade to this area; an art installation and outdoor exhibition are being installed in Worcester Boulevard; the streetscape along Colombo Street, from Tuam Street to South City, is being improved with planters and vibrant splashes of colour; and pedestrian access on the Durham Street bridge is being upgraded.
"The Central City has been constantly changing with the demolition of buildings, reduction of the cordon and businesses beginning to move back to the fringes of the cordon.
"This transitional stage is important for the Council to explore new ideas and concepts to help with the recovery of the area and enable residents to reconnect with the heart of their city as we start to transition into the restoration/reconstruction phase.
"The projects will last a few months or a few years depending on the nature of the project and how quickly new areas of the Central City are re-opened."
Along Oxford Terrace, in the area known at The Terrace before the earthquakes, visual artist of Ng?i Tahu, Ngaphui and Ngati Kahu descent, Priscilla Cowie is creating an artwork that captures the essence of the city's aspirations to celebrate the Avon River/?takaro's rich cultural heritage and the natural environment.
"Images of raupo, flax and eels are being painted across the footpath and roadway to extend the riverbank and create a seamless environment. This introduces the concept of a shared space for pedestrians, cyclists and other traffic."
Mr Parker says brightly coloured seating from the former Bus Exchange Transit Lounge is being placed along this stretch of Oxford Terrace encouraging people to stop for a while, to contemplate and enjoy the new environment.
Across the river on Durham Street (by the Bridge of Remembrance), pedestrian access is being improved with a new footpath on the eastern side of the bridge and planting used to separate pedestrians from the traffic. "This will help with pedestrian access to Re:Start and businesses operating in the area.
"Down Colombo Street, from Tuam Street to South City, the footpaths have been repaired, build-outs placed at the intersections and new planters installed providing a burst of bright colour in the street."
He says the streetscape improvements create a better environment for people to visit and reconnect with the Central City, as well as improving pedestrian safety.
"What we are doing is testing new ideas and concepts, in line with what the community asked for as part of developing the Draft Central City Plan. And we again want your feedback so we can improve on what we have done for other areas of the Central City as these open up."
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