An elevated future for Christchurch?

Last updated 15:14 18/03/2011

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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A Christchurch businessman has mooted the idea of rebuilding the garden city as an 'elevated garden city'.

YikeBike founder Grant Ryan wants to gauge opinion on his idea of creating rooftop gardens on Christchurch's future buildings and linking them with elevated walk and cycle paths.

With many buildings in line for demolition following the earthquake, the question was what to put in their place, he said.

"From talking to people I didn't find anyone who worked in a highrise building who wanted to go back to one."

The roof spaces on new buildings could be used for parks, cafes, playgrounds, courtyards or sports areas, with people able to access them from slopes built up from public spaces on the ground.

The idea could lead to more people wanting to live and work within the four avenues, and traffic flow could be improved with pedestrians and cyclists using the elevated paths over the roads, he said.

"Why don't we try to do something that makes it so that people on the other side of the world say 'have you heard about the elevated city' ... something cool and iconic, but relatively inexpensive as well. It's a unique opportunity - how many city's are going to be able to do a rebuild."

Ryan said he was not an expert and did not own any property in the CBD, but was simply a "passionate Cantabrian".

However, he believed the idea would be relatively simple from an engineering perspective and that people would not need to worry about the safety of using elevated bridges.

"We can make very strong bridges and it's not horrendously high. It's so much easier than engineering a multistorey building."

With the help of a few other people interested in the idea, Ryan set up a website to see what the public thought of the plan.

"We set it up as a blog-type thing so we want people to do comments about how we can integrate the idea to the new city. We want people to throw ideas in to the pot. The more people who contribute the better."

To add to the discussion visit or post your comment below.

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- The Press


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