READER REPORT:

Rebuilding Christchurch: Let the people gather and chat

NICK SUMMERHAYES
Last updated 15:00 24/10/2012
A Piazza

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I'd like to see more piazzas and squares in the rebuild; places for people to gather and interact.

My memory of before the earthquake was areas like Cashel Mall that would have people sitting outside of e.g. the Irish Pub, The Bog, with others using Cashel Mall as a conventional two-way street, and little interaction between them.

However, now we have the Re:Start Mall built around two 'squares', one with a two-storey coffee shop in the middle of it, with people sitting in the coffee shop able to interact with others 'circling'  The Square. They can engage in a conversation if desired. Sol Square and Poplar Lane were other examples of places for easy interaction.

So I'm thinking more of the same... people only areas. How about Cranmer Square and maybe Latimer Square if it still exists post the Green Frame?

Edgeware Village would be highly suitable too.

Divert traffic off Colombo St, on to Canon St, and then to Caledonian Rd, up to Edgeware so that the last 200m of Colombo can be made pedestrian only and into a paved square lined with plane trees and seating.

Edgeware Rd remains open to traffic but with diagonal parking along the south of Edgeware Rd between Cranford and Springfield Rd, with easy access to walk into the paved square from these parks.

Edgeware Rd could even become one way along this stretch with one lane for getting in and out of the diagonal parks and the other for through traffic.

Any extra parking required might be from the Supervalue car park annexing the road next to the BP service station (but maybe still allowing through traffic), and/or on the Hardie/Thompson site if that is up for development.

This paved square, with maybe a theme of wrought iron tree protectors (to make the vandals work a bit harder), petanque court crusher dust and wooden bench seats, would actually connect the shops on each side of Colombo St instead of the requirement to take your life in your hands to cross this busy stretch of road, as at present.

The north of Colombo St would end 200m (approx) short of Edgeware Rd and have a turning circle outside the Community Hall for mini-bus and taxi pick up/drop off from 'town'.


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