On the back of last weekends Community Expo and the Share an Idea website, there will now be a series of workshops held from 28 May through to mid-June. The workshops will be two and a half hours long each and I imagine they will flow from the key ideas generated thus far (over 30,000 in all!).
It is promising so far that the general public view on the future of Christchurch seems to be in line with the view of the Council, so a positive spin-off should be a united voice on certain key issues. That can only be good for getting the Governments attention. One of those issues, I believe, will be transport. It is becoming clear that promotion and accommodation of active transport modes and a modern world-class public transport system are seen as essential to the future of the city. Although the main focus will be on the CBD, a CBD built for people first naturally generates ideas around access, and that flows out to the greater city. Some people still believe better access for cars (priority on roads, more and cheaper car parks etc) will result in a better Central City, but most people seem to be getting the idea that: a) that will result in a place people will not want to go to in the first place; b) fails to play to the uniqueness and strengths of the Central City that could attract people to visit, work and live there; c) the Central City is not the same thing as a suburban mall, and; d) a Central City built around automobile access is not a silver bullet, will create more issues, and as the default policy for the last few decades has not worked and therefore probably won’t work now.
If a solid direction for the CBD is decided on now, with this kind of mandate behind it, then it is going to be hard for the Government to ignore and therefore they should be more accommodating and less likely to call CERA in to install roadblocks.
Ten public workshops have been organised so far. They are:
• Saturday 28 May, 2.30pm in North Beach
• Sunday 29 May, 2pm in Central Christchurch
• Wednesday 1 June, 6pm in Central Christchurch
• Saturday 4 June, 2.30pm in Wigram
• Sunday 5 June, 2pm in Central Christchurch
• Tuesday 7 June, 6pm in Central Christchurch
• Wednesday 8 June., 6pm in Cashmere
• Sunday 12 June, 2pm in Central Christchurch
• Sunday 12 June, 2.30pm in Burnside
To participate, you must register at the Share an Idea website, or go to your local service centre.