Christchurch Wants PT City


The Christchurch City Council meeting today decided to give pedestrians, cyclists and public transport priority for the southern city.

The council debated the report I blogged about here last week - Danish urban designer Jan Gehl”s Public Space Public Life Study to make Christchurch “a city for people.”

The proposal was warmly welcomed at today’s council meeting and the green light given to a number of the ideas – from developing a concept plan for a high-quality walk along Colombo Street from Victoria Square to a new Transport Interchange and investigating changing Colombo Street to shared priority for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

To be fair, not all the ideas are new to the council  – some are already well in the pipeline.

In fact, of the 66 projects suggested in the report , almost half are already funded in the 2009-19 LTCCP, 25 are new, and the remainder need to be realigned with work already being done by Council.

But the important thing today was the principle adopted by the council that it wants a vibrant city enjoyed by pedestrians, cyclists and enhanced not by the car but by public transport.

Is it something we could ever achieve in mad-car city Auckland?

The top five Christchurch projects the council settled on are:

  • Developing a concept plan to upgrade Colombo Street from Victoria Square to the new Transport Interchange, including the investigation of changing Colombo Street to shared priority for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.
  • Upgrading Central City streets to improve pedestrian priority and amenities; creating a 30kph slow core in these streets.
  • Developing concept plans to upgrade street crossings to complete the Avon river walkway.
  • Investigating options and concept plans to upgrade under-used public spaces, including Latimer Square, the Christchurch Art Gallery forecourt and Cranmer Square.
  • Adopting and implementing the Heritage Review recommendations. (Council will consider these in coming months) .

Christchurch mayor, Bob Parker told the council that while the council is more than five years into its programme of revitalising the Central City. what the Jan Gehl report has done is endorse the work we have already done, provide a framework to refine future development and benchmarked Christchurch against other great cities of the world.

“A City for People will ensure the development of our Central City reflects our Garden City values with avenues of trees, green spaces, an attractive river frontage and a variety of public spaces for recreation and leisure.”

He said implementation of the action plan will mean Christchurch’s Central City will have a human pace, invite people to walk, sit, relax, socialise and be entertained in the area, and with a vibrant, safe Central City the foundation will have been laid for future growth and prosperity.

Christchurch trams |Willu

EARLIER: The report the council debated today




  1. Matt L says:

    I think Auckland is slowly waking up the need for a better CBD and there are good signs with the shared street plans etc.

    The thing really holding Auckland back now is the government (past and current) who still have an attitude that cars are the only way.

  2. Jeremy Harris says:

    Ah don’t let Joyce know, with his huge motorway plans in that city when he finds out it will be time for a Christchurch supercity with a transport CCO too…

  3. Jeremy Harris says:

    I forgot to say this is absolutely fabulous, I did a blog post on Jarbury’s blog about Chch’s walkability after I got back this new years…

  4. curtissd says:

    What is it with the government and cars? My understanding is that if you keep throwing money at motorways then traffic will just clog somewhere else. Is it the revenue it gains from road tax / petrol?

  5. ingolfson says:

    “Is it the revenue it gains from road tax / petrol?”

    Nah, don’t think so. As has been stated before - I think they are really, honestly thinking that cars have been the best way in the past, and will stay so, and all the downsides don’t matter when you “really look at it” and compare them to the upsides.

  6. Joshua says:

    I do believe the attitude can be incorporated into Auckland, and we have made a start, we need to focus from the CBD outwards, once the CBD is converted then can focus on Satellite Centres. One Step at a time.

    While the CBD develops our CBD connections need to improve with it as well to handle the increased demmand.

    Possible, however it seems we are heading there at snails pace at the Mo.

  7. Jeremy Harris says:

    No Josh, we are going backwards, curiously since about Nov 2008…


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