Green city initiatives most popular
Christchurch Earthquake 2011
Christchurch residents want the new city centre to go green, a survey shows.
A green Cathedral Square, a green belt along the Avon River, and the use of "green technologies" are viewed as the most important projects in the Government's rebuild plan, the opinion poll shows.
A Press poll asked 507 readers what they thought of the 100-day blueprint, their most and least favoured projects, what was missing, and when they envisaged the Christchurch rebuild would be complete.
More than 70 per cent said the blueprint met or exceeded their expectations, though few thought the Government's hope to have it all done by 2017 was realistic.
The green frame around a smaller central business district (CBD) was the biggest winner, with 89 per cent of respondents saying they agreed with the idea.
In terms of importance, aspects ranked in most people's top three were the Avon River precinct (58 per cent), Cathedral Square (35 per cent) and the use of green technologies (31 per cent).
People were most divided over plans to build a covered stadium, with 44 per cent in favour, 42 per cent opposed and 14 per cent unsure.
Establishing a cricket oval in Hagley Park was also contentious, with 51 per cent against the idea and 33 per cent agreeing.
Twenty-five per cent of those polled said the blueprint fell short of expectations.
The Maori Cultural Centre and the Innovation Project were among the least popular ideas.
Only 1 per cent ranked the cultural centre in their top three.
The new public library, a performing arts hub and the health precinct all received healthy support, as did the central city sports hub and the 28-metre building height limit.
Asked what was missing from the plan, those polled said they had wanted tertiary education, financial and nightlife precincts included.
The failure to include some form of rail transport, inner-city living areas and the Christ Church Cathedral also disappointed some.
Others said they had hoped for more architectural direction and heritage values to be included - rather than focussing so much on sport.
Most people thought the rebuild would take longer than the Government's schedule, which says most projects should be complete by 2017.
Nearly 70 per cent of respondents thought the rebuild would be completed between 2020 and 2025.
Christchurch Central Development Unit boss Warwick Isaacs said he was "thrilled" with the majority of those polled finding the blueprint favourable.
The support for the green frame was vindication of their bold approach.
Isaacs was surprised the use of "green technologies" was so popular, which was "good to know".
He expected the Maori Cultural Centre and Innovation Project did not rank high on the public's agenda because there was still "a story to be told" about them.
The response to the cricket oval was not a surprise due to people's love of Hagley Park. The project was "still under some discussion".
Isaacs accepted completing the rebuild by 2017 was "optimistic" but having the rebuild continuing up to 2025 would be "too late for the central city to recover . . . It's our goal to move on [the plan] as quickly as we can . . . it is our commitment to make it happen."
POLL SHOWS SPLIT OVER STADIUM
Christchurch appears divided over plans for a covered stadium in the new city centre, with residents in one of the most quake-damaged areas of Christchurch the least in favour, an opinion poll shows.
A Press Hot Topic Poll surveyed 507 readers about their views on the Government's blueprint for the central city rebuild.
Sixteen per cent of those who responded were from the Hagley-Ferrymead and Burwood-Pegasus wards, which were the worst hit in the earthquakes.
Cera's Central City Development Unit has unveiled plans to build a covered stadium seating 35,000 people on the former Turners & Growers site - the block between Madras, Tuam, Barbadoes and Lichfield streets.
The total pool of people surveyed were closely divided, with 44 per cent in favour of the stadium idea, 13 per cent opposed and 29 per cent strongly opposed. A further 14 per cent were unsure or had no preference.
In the Hagley-Ferrymead ward, 44 per cent said they "strongly disagreed" with the stadium project.
Those in the Burwood-Pegasus and Hagley-Ferrymead wards were also not as happy as the rest of Christchurch with the overall content of the blueprint.
While 71 per cent said the plan met their expectations overall, in Hagley-Ferrymead this fell to 61 per cent.
About 72 per cent of people surveyed in Hagley-Ferrymead indicated that they had wanted something else included in the plan - the highest of all the wards and much higher than the 54 per cent result from respondents overall.
Those in the Hagley-Ferrymead ward were also less in favour of the green "frame" around the city centre - 12.5 per cent said they disagreed with it compared to only 5.5 per cent of the total sample.
Canterbury Rugby Football Union chief executive Hamish Riach said he appreciated people had different circumstances and priorities.
"Clearly there are a range of perspectives [on the projects]. We still believe the future Christchurch involves having an international quality stadium that attracts major events for decades to come," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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