A new pool and river park are key projects

Last updated 18:00 30/07/2012
Avon River
Stacy Squires
AVON: A riverside park with cycleways, paved areas and cafes will be developed.

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Parks and the Avon River will frame Christchurch's new-look central city, with development of a new inner-city public pool and convention centre among the first projects to get off the ground.

The Frame

The eastern and southern edges of the central city will be bordered by the "frame". These are open spaces designed to reduce the size of the CBD, ridding it of the oversupply of commercial space it had pre-earthquakes. The frame will have a 10-year land-use designation.

The eastern frame will have an underlying business zoning; the southern a mix of health, education, science and innovation facilities and residential space.

Property owners in the frame will have to decide if they want to develop along the designated lines or sell up. The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority hopes to have land negotiations done in five years.

The Avon River precinct

The Avon River will act as the link between the anchor projects within the redeveloped CBD and is one of the four priority projects.

The banks of the river will be developed as riverside parks, with no buildings allowed within 30 metres. Some stretches of the Avon will be widened.

On the right (or city side) of the river, the banks will be given an urban edge with paving, street furniture and cafes.

On the left side of the river, the banks will have a more a natural feel, with lots of grassed areas and plantings.

Public art telling the history of the river will be dotted along the banks and will draw people through to a cultural centre in Victoria Square that Ngai Tahu is planning on developing.

There will be no through traffic on the roads around the river, but there will by cycleways and walkways.

Cathedral Square

Cathedral Square is retained as the civic heart of Christchurch, with activities day and night.

A new public library will be built on the edge of the Square where the Camelot hotel once sat. The Square will be closed to through traffic.

The Square will be "greened'' through the use of more grass and plantings.

Convention Centre

The new convention centre will cover more than a city block, stretching from Victoria Square and the Avon River, over Gloucester St into Cathedral Square.

The three-storey centre will be able to hold three conferences concurrently - one of up to 1000 delegates and two of up to 500 - and will have a basement car park with 350 spaces.

There is a provision for two inter-connected hotels on the site.

Metro sports hub

A modern aquatic and indoor sports centre will be built on land between St Asaph St and Moorhouse Ave, Stewart and Antigua streets.

It will boast a competition-size swimming pool with seating for up to 500. It will also have leisure, spa and learners' pools.

The centre will have eight indoor courts, with 2800 retractable seats. There will also be a movement centre.

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Parking for 500 cars will be provided. Some retail activity is possible as part of this sports hub, which will also include space for a sports administration centre.

Public transport

A new bus interchange will be built on the block of land between Tuam and Lichfield streets that is currently home to the city's temporary bus exchange. 

The exchange will cover an area of 5500 square metres and will include parking for 12 buses. There will be retail outlets on the ground-floor street frontage.

Earthquake memorial

No specific site for an earthquake memorial is identified in the plan.

This is a deliberate omission. The team wants more time to consult on the most appropriate site. The design of the memorial itself will be subject to an international design competition.

The aim is to have a memorial created by February 22, 2016 - the fifth anniversary of the quake.

The justice and emergency services precinct

A new precinct between Lichfield, Tuam, Durham and Colombo streets will be developed as the base for the city's emergency services and the courts.

The police, Fire Service, ambulance, civil defence and the Justice Ministry will be grouped together in a cluster of low-rise buildings designed around a courtyard layout. Between 1300 and 1400 people will work in this precinct.

The performing arts and music precinct

The exact location of this precinct will depend on what happens to the Town Hall, but the plan is to cluster all the venues for the performing arts together, either around the existing Town Hall or northeast of the Isaac Theatre Royal.

A new music centre and home for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra will anchor the precinct, which will also include new performing arts auditoria - one with seating for 1500 and one with seating for 500.

Multi-purpose stadium

A multi-purpose stadium for international fixtures and concerts will be built on the old Turners & Growers site between Madras and Barbadoes streets. The stadium will be covered and have a rectangular format, with natural turf. 

It will have 35,000 seats with 4300 demountable seats. It will have a 350 space carpark. The target timeline for completion is March 2017 - in time for the scheduled Lions tour.

Health precinct

Christchurch Hospital will form the anchor of a new health precinct which will bring together health-related businesses and research institutes in the city. It will adjoin the metro sports facility and link in with the CBD's new southern frame.

- The Press

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