'No sacred cows' in Christchurch redesign
Nothing is off-limits when it comes to the city's rebuild, Mayor Bob Parker says.
About 100 people took part in weekend workshops to discuss the 40,000 suggestions for the city's restoration.
The Christchurch City Council had indicated relocating the central city and changing the street grid pattern and Avon River course would not be countenanced.
However, Parker told participants at yesterday's Hagley Park session that there was "nothing wrong" with challenging the city plan guidelines.
"There are no sacred cows," he said.
The city's grid layout was one of the "core pieces of heritage", but had changed over the years, Parker said.
"The traffic you'd find on the streets today, pre-earthquake, compared to what they may have looked like in the 1950s, with a lot more bicycles and public transport, and to what they'd look like in the 1920s, has changed," he said.
"Although we have this, I think, beautiful grid pattern at the core of our city, it doesn't mean we shouldn't look at aspects of that and say, `Are there parts of it we could change?"'
The first two workshops attracted a cross-section of the community and were "really creative", Parker said.
Suggestions discussed yesterday included creating an Avon River boardwalk, closing Oxford Tce to vehicles, extending the tram network, inviting artists and buskers into the city, and reducing inner-city vehicle speeds to 30kmh.
"It's about looking at some of the themes that have begun to emerge ... over the past month, and starting to tease some of those ideas out a little bit further," Parker said.
Christchurch's young leaders shared ideas at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Youth Voices Challenge on Saturday.
Forum co-ordinator Tania Kurbatoff said the Student Volunteer Army showed young people were capable of "getting their hands dirty" and making "positive changes in the community".
"Young Christchurch people are looking beyond their own future to consider how disaster response and rebuild processes may act as a model for communities suffering similar tragedies around the world," she said.
The draft central-city plan will be released by September and, after council hearings, will be presented to Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee on December 16.
Parker said the timeframe was "pretty tight", but he invited more ideas.
"It's really important for us as a city to capture honestly those main themes and to listen to the advice and ideas that come in from our community," he said.
"That will give us the ability to withstand any of the other pressure groups or individual organisations who might want to see just their view imprinted on the city."