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Draft concept and key moves for the Square and surrounding area

Cities are often defined by the quality of their centre, and what it offers.

Regenerate Christchurch is working with our partners – Christchurch City Council, the Crown, Ngāi Tahu and Environment Canterbury – and a range of stakeholders to develop a regeneration strategy for Cathedral Square and the surrounding area. Our focus is on the area between Kilmore Street to the north and Hereford Street to the south, and between Cambridge Terrace to the west and Manchester Street to the east.

The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan sets out a clear vision for the Square – an international centre and the heart of our city, with year-round activity, day and night. It’s a vision for a 21st century city that points to a greener space, with buildings that inspire and activate, and a main square complemented by a series of smaller places.

Regenerate Christchurch proposed a draft concept for the area in July 2017 to test some key moves we think will help stimulate investment and deliver a centre that showcases the very best of our city.

This is just a draft – a conversation starter to help get people talking about what we can do to improve the area, and how we should go about doing it.

We know we aren’t working with a blank canvas. This draft concept was based on what you’ve said through Share an Idea, as well as more recent reports, market research, targeted engagement with property owners and community input. Feedback on the draft concept closed in August 2017.

Download a PDF of the draft concept and key moves.


Read the key moves below.



Cities are often defined by the quality of their centre, and what it offers.

Regenerate Christchurch is working with our partners – Christchurch City Council, the Crown, Ngāi Tahu and Environment Canterbury – and a range of stakeholders to develop a regeneration strategy for Cathedral Square and the surrounding area. Our focus is on the area between Kilmore Street to the north and Hereford Street to the south, and between Cambridge Terrace to the west and Manchester Street to the east.

The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan sets out a clear vision for the Square – an international centre and the heart of our city, with year-round activity, day and night. It’s a vision for a 21st century city that points to a greener space, with buildings that inspire and activate, and a main square complemented by a series of smaller places.

Regenerate Christchurch proposed a draft concept for the area in July 2017 to test some key moves we think will help stimulate investment and deliver a centre that showcases the very best of our city.

This is just a draft – a conversation starter to help get people talking about what we can do to improve the area, and how we should go about doing it.

We know we aren’t working with a blank canvas. This draft concept was based on what you’ve said through Share an Idea, as well as more recent reports, market research, targeted engagement with property owners and community input. Feedback on the draft concept closed in August 2017.

Download a PDF of the draft concept and key moves.


Read the key moves below.



  • Key move 1: Reshaping Cathedral Square

    5 months ago
    Cathedral gardens after

    One of the draft concept's key moves is to change the Square from one large space into three interconnected places. To create these better defined places, the draft concept proposes to build a series of buildings on the public land in the northern corner of Cathedral Square.

    Each place will have its own distinctive character and all of them would be 'event-ready', which means they would have the necessary infrastructure, facilities and management plans to host a range of events. They will be connected by a continuous water feature and native landscape.

    Read more.

    One of the draft concept's key moves is to change the Square from one large space into three interconnected places. To create these better defined places, the draft concept proposes to build a series of buildings on the public land in the northern corner of Cathedral Square.

    Each place will have its own distinctive character and all of them would be 'event-ready', which means they would have the necessary infrastructure, facilities and management plans to host a range of events. They will be connected by a continuous water feature and native landscape.

    Read more.

  • Key move 2: Framing the Square with structures and buildings that can stimulate activity

    5 months ago
    Zone diagram   buildings framing the spaces web version

    Selectively building on the northern edge of the Square does more than create the series of smaller, interconnected spaces. It's also the way we can stimulate activity, improve design quality and stipulate the types of businesses that frame the space and how they interact with public space.

    Read more.

    Selectively building on the northern edge of the Square does more than create the series of smaller, interconnected spaces. It's also the way we can stimulate activity, improve design quality and stipulate the types of businesses that frame the space and how they interact with public space.

    Read more.

  • Key move 3: Improving connectivity to, through and around the area

    5 months ago
    Key move 3   newroad brighton web

    The draft concept shows pedestrian-friendly streets and places. For the area to be successful as a place to work, be entertained and socialise, it not only needs to be accessible, but the experience of travelling to and through it needs to be positive and interesting. The regeneration strategy will examine ways to achieve this, including innovative public transport options to connect the area to the wider city (such as trams, light rail, electric shuttles and even aerial gondolas).

    Read more.


    The draft concept shows pedestrian-friendly streets and places. For the area to be successful as a place to work, be entertained and socialise, it not only needs to be accessible, but the experience of travelling to and through it needs to be positive and interesting. The regeneration strategy will examine ways to achieve this, including innovative public transport options to connect the area to the wider city (such as trams, light rail, electric shuttles and even aerial gondolas).

    Read more.


  • Key move 4: Upgrading the streets and lanes between hubs of activity

    5 months ago
    Key move 4   melbourne laneway web

    A number of specific streets, spaces and lanes have been identified as important routes between places of interest, exit and entry points, and emerging or existing hubs of activity (such as Cashel Mall, Victoria Street, High and New Regent Streets).

    Read more.

    A number of specific streets, spaces and lanes have been identified as important routes between places of interest, exit and entry points, and emerging or existing hubs of activity (such as Cashel Mall, Victoria Street, High and New Regent Streets).

    Read more.

  • Key move 5: Integrating water and the indigenous ecosystems into the streets and public spaces

    5 months ago
    Zone diagram   hard and soft landscape web version

    The draft concept proposes to integrate water and native plants into the area's streets and spaces, to acknowledge natural history, tell the story of the cultural heritage of this area and maybe even return the dawn chorus of native birds to the city centre.

    Read more.


    The draft concept proposes to integrate water and native plants into the area's streets and spaces, to acknowledge natural history, tell the story of the cultural heritage of this area and maybe even return the dawn chorus of native birds to the city centre.

    Read more.


  • Wider initiatives and what happens next

    5 months ago
    Cover image web

    Wider initiatives for the area include improving access and connectivity to the city, and increasing the residential population within the centre.

    Read more.

    Wider initiatives for the area include improving access and connectivity to the city, and increasing the residential population within the centre.

    Read more.