International urban design experts to assist Christchurch

Posted on May 6, 2011 by


Some very positive news: David Sim and Simon Goddard from Copenhagen-based Gehl Architects will spend the next four weeks in Christchurch working with the Council’s urban design team on the draft Central City Plan. This is great news as Gehl has a superb reputation in urban planning circles and, given the views expressed in the previous Gehl Plan for Christchurch’s CBD, I would say it seems as if we are starting to head in the right direction.

From the Council’s media release:

Council Central City Plan Project Sponsor Michael Theelen says the team from Gehl Architects are best placed to assist with the development of the Plan as they had previously worked with the Council on a vision for the Central City.

“The Gehl team has a good knowledge of how our Central City looked and functioned before the earthquakes. This knowledge will be critical as we put together the Central City Plan and develop a new vision for the area.

“Much of what we need to achieve was outlined in the A City for People Action Plan, developed from the Gehl Architects Public Space Public Life Study of Christchurch’s Central City. This Plan looked at creating a Central City which celebrated its amenities, provided a wide range of activities, had attractive and inviting public spaces and human pace.”

Mr Theelen says these will all be areas which will be addressed as part of the Central City Plan, which will take a holistic approach – economic, social, cultural and environmental – to redeveloping the Central City.

This is definitely a positive direction and I expect there to be a strong public transport and ‘people’ focus in their input. Lets just hope CERA and the Government keep their nose out of this one…