Urban village competition sparks interest from overseas

22:55, Nov 30 2012

A competition to design and build an urban village in the centre of Christchurch is attracting worldwide interest.

It was launched by Christchurch City Council, the Business Innovation and Employment Ministry, the Christchurch Central Development Unit and Ngai Tahu in October, and is aimed at finding innovative ideas for inner-city residential developments.

Entrants have to come up with plans to design and build at least 50 dwellings on a one hectare site in the northeast corner of Latimer Square.

Council urban design and regeneration unit manager Carolyn Ingles said the competition offered a unique opportunity in residential development. There had been registrations of interest from around the world.

"Competition organisers are not expecting every registration to result in a submission but are very happy with the response so far," Ingles said.

Designers have until mid-January to submit entries, which will be judged by a panel that includes British television presenter Kevin McCloud, who fronts Grand Designs. The panel will short list three entries.

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The entrants will be given $20,000 to complete detailed designs.

From there, a winner will be selected.

It is hoped construction will begin next December.

The Government will buy the land for the village but has stipulated it must be privately developed because it wants to recoup at least the capital cost of the project.

Canterbury