It's not perfect, but we now have a plan

WARWICK RASMUSSEN - DEPUTY EDITOR
Last updated 12:54 01/08/2012

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OPINION: It may not have been greeted with universal approval and it may be lacking detail and cost, but at least there is a vision for the future of Christchurch's city centre.

Such a project, following the earthquakes of 2010 and last year, was always going to be a tough ask for whoever designed it. So many people submitted ideas that there is bound to be a lot of people who are disappointed.

And they're disappointed for different reasons, from priorities, to where features and structures will be built.

On top of that there are the "forgotten" people of the eastern suburbs, who would rather they had a flushing toilet and some certainty beyond a couple of months about where they were going to live.

Those residents and homeowners face a mire of battles with councils, insurance companies and government agencies. Many of them are at their wit's end.

People who live in those areas have every right to be outraged at the treatment they've received and the bills and delays they've been handed.

Yet, despite that and the tough times they go through, the city must have a game plan in place for the other residents of the city - and the prospect of attracting more people.

Getting it right for everyone is almost an impossibility, so it is important that the major planks for a regenerated city centre are done right.

And that looks to be the case.

Sporting facilities, transport hubs, as well as green zones and play areas for children are highlights of the plan.

It's easy to be critical of any plan with such wide scope because it has taken so long, but it's crucial that those in charge of the city's rebuild outline a plan, then execute it.

There will be plenty of road bumps on the way as such a project has never been attempted before. Cities evolve over several decades, usually developing in a sprawling manner.

Rebuilding within a city that is still healing over a much shorter timeframe is something far more challenging and potentially daunting.

ONE MORE THING

One of the real treats of the Olympics is watching sports that you otherwise never would. The plethora of channels, for those lucky enough to have access to them, really do deliver a smorgasbord of options.

One minute it's women's handball, then fencing, then judo, archery and weightlifting. It's an odd feeling finding yourself cheering for Angola against Croatia in a sport you barely understand. But that's part of the charm of the Olympics, aside from all the superstars in the big-name events.

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- Manawatu Standard

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