This is what we want: four views

Last updated 05:00 22/02/2013
Daniel Tobin

Four enterprising young Christchurch residents talk about their hopes for their city two yeas after the February Quake

Coralie Winn
CORALIE WINN: "A city more about people and less about cars"
Andre Lovatt
ANDRE LOVATT: "I want to make a contribution."
Mike Hewson
MIKE HEWSON: "I want architecture to reflect what we've been through."
Jason Pemberton
JASON PEMBERTON: "A city that forces interaction between different sectors of society."

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Daniel Tobin and Charlie Gates ask four people leading the Christchurch rebuild what they want to see in the new city. 

This is what we want:

"Ultimately, a city that is more about people and less about cars", Gap Filler director Coralie Winn, at the Pellet Pavilion.

"I want the architecture to reflect what we've been through, but have a really modern spin," Artist Mike Hewson who painted the reflection of the Government Life building behind.

"It would be cool to see a city that forces interaction between different sectors of society," Student Volunteer Army leader Jason Pemberton at the cordon.

"I've come backfrom overseas . . .because I want to makea contribution," Arts Centre director Andre Lovatt, at his restoration project.

What will the city centre look like in 10 years?

GapFiller director Coralie Winn: "In 10 years time I think the city will look very modern. I think there will still be quite a few vacant spaces, to be honest. I think the city will be much greener and I'm hoping full of more people living in the city as well."

Artist Mike Hewson: "I think it will be a lot different to what we remember. I think there will probably still be a few vacant spaces and grassy areas with parks and things."

Arts Centre director Andre Lovatt: "I'm expecting to see an amazing place full of activity with lots of people and lots of bikes and lots of happy people."

Student Volunteer Army leader Jason Pemberton: "It's probably quite hard to say what it will physically look like, but I think it will be a vibrant and engaging environment (with) lots of people.

"Once the city centre is back open, people will come back in and hang out."

What do you most want to see in the new city?

Winn: "I would really like to see a city that's full of creative responses, artworks, events and street art ... a city that is relevant and engaging.

"I would also like to see lots of people and friendly places, where people can sit and hang out. Lots of cycle lanes and green spaces.

"Ultimately, a city that is more about people and less about cars."

Hewson: "From an aesthetic point of view I want something that looks back on how Christchurch was and what it has been through.

"I want the architecture to reflect what we've been through, but have a really modern spin on things and be relevant so people can identify what they remember but also be excited about what it looks like now."

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Lovatt: "I want to see a park, I want to see people coming into the city and using that. I want to see people coming back from the suburbs and starting to use the city rather than shopping at big suburban malls."

Pemberton: "Integration is the biggest thing I would like to see in the new city. It is really easy for silos of people to be created and for everything to get separated out.

"It would be cool to see a city that forces interaction between different sectors of society. That would be awesome."

What do you miss about the old city?

Winn: "I miss the fact that there was even a city, because I don't really feel like there is one now. I really miss the older buildings that gave Christchurch so much character. The loss of High Street and all those buildings is really, really sad for me. I miss the cafes I used to go to and the theatre spaces I used to work in. Those sorts of things no longer exist."

Hewson: "I miss the day to day. Being able to bike through the city and have a beer and everything being condensed. I imagine that will come back in its own kind of way."

Lovatt: "I miss people. I've been in the central city now since October and I really like seeing people come back to the city. The biggest thing I miss is the activity that people bring to the city."

Pemberton: "To be perfectly honest, the thing I miss the most is its existence. The fact that there was a city centre, somewhere you could go and be surrounded by people and have something a bit different to a suburban mall. That's the thing I enjoy the most when I go to other places."

What keeps you in Christchurch?

Winn: "Staying in Christchurch is hard and sometimes it does get me down, but ultimately what keeps me here is the chance to be involved in all sorts of exciting projects and to inspire other people to get involved and do interesting things and to take risks and experiment.

"To feel like we are helping to shape a new way of thinking about the city and affecting so many people in a positive way. That is what keeps me here.

"I could easily go to Wellington and have a much easier life, but it's much more interesting being here."

Hewson: "For me, it's a really exciting place to be with all the changes and just to be immersed in what's happening on a day-to-day basis.

"There is nowhere quite like this in the world. At first I found it hard, but now I find it really, really interesting. It's great to be a part of what's happening. That is why I'm here."

Lovatt: "I've come back from overseas. We're in a really special, significant time and I'm here because I want to make a contribution and I'm excited about the future."

Pemberton: "There isn't anywhere else where you can walk down the street and ask the locals where something is and even they don't know. It's a completely new place in every sense and that's an opportunity that you won't find anywhere else at the moment."

- The Press


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