Your Square Your Place - thank you for your feedback

Image of buildings in Christchurch's Cathedral Square.

On 31 July 2017 Regenerate Christchurch published a draft concept and key moves for Cathedral Square and the surrounding area.

From 31 July to 21 August 2017 we received 735 comments – 16 from groups and 719 from individuals. Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide their thoughts.

Here is a summary of the feedback we received and, importantly, how that feedback is helping develop the regeneration strategy for the area.



What we heard

Overall, feedback on the draft concept and key moves was positive. In total, 83% of participants liked the idea, with just under half of those (36%) stating some reservations.

People were supportive of a more dynamic, vibrant people-friendly Square that attracts people of all ages – residents and visitors. They liked the idea of the Square being a destination, rather than a thoroughfare. They also reconfirmed a theme that first appeared in Share an Idea – than people wanted a greener Square, with more plants and water features.

The main reservations people expressed were around introducing buildings on the northern edge of the Square. Of the 36% who liked the draft concept with reservations, building on the Square was the main concern – that it may limit space, block sun, create a wind tunnel and impact on the historic shape of the Square.

Building on the Square was also the main issue for the 16% who didn’t like the draft concept at all, this group was particularly concerned about the importance of preserving cultural heritage and historic values.


Youth and children

Of the 735 people and groups who responded, 172 people identified themselves as youth. This group were overwhelmingly positive, with 69% supporting the draft concept without reservations and a further 28% expressing support with some concerns (97% supportive of the concept in general).

In addition to the public feedback, we also engaged specifically with youth and children.

In total we engaged with around 211 12-24 year olds, with a specific focus on schools in the immediate area. We invited them to share their thoughts on the draft concept and key moves. Their comments, which have been grouped into seven key themes, highlight what is important to them:

  • Transport and accessibility

  • Protecting memories, culture and heritage

  • Youth friendly places and spaces

  • Environment and animals

  • Wellbeing

  • Education and the arts

  • Commerce and tourism

For the children’s engagement, we asked approximately 250 children from central city schools what they would like to see and experience in and around the Square. In total around 1449 ideas were generated, which were then grouped into themes. Nature in the city came on top, with 29% or 417 of the ideas received. Smiling, active people came next, representing 22% or 319 of the ideas received. The third highest theme was fabulous food, at 20% or 283 ideas.


How we are incorporating this feedback into the draft Strategy

All this feedback, along with the research we have already done, is helping us to refine the design and consider what might be possible for Cathedral Square and the surrounding area.


Buildings and structures on the Square

The draft concept and key moves proposed buildings in the northern edge of the Square to address some issues around inactivity in the area. The buildings were intended to provide a backdrop to events, a space for small businesses and creative industries and, above all they were a way of creating activity by bringing people into the space during what will be a fairly long rebuild period. If we are going to achieve regeneration in the area, it’s important to create activity within the Square.

Feedback raised a number of concerns about the relationship between the structures and nearby buildings, specifically the ChristChurch Cathedral. There were also concerns about how the buildings might create shade or wind tunnels.

We are exploring a range of different options that will bring people into this space. Whatever is proposed will need to be high quality, and respectful of its setting.


Respecting and celebrating our unique cultural heritage

We have had clear feedback that enhancing and protecting the numerous heritage structures and buildings within the space is important.

One of the main drivers of place-making is building upon the cultural heritage of a place. In spite of the significant loss of heritage buildings following the earthquakes, this area is still rich in cultural heritage compared with many other areas.

We are looking at ways we can combine and enhance the heritage in ways that are respectful of both European and Ngāi Tūāhuriri cultural heritage values.


Greening the Square

We had very positive response to the idea of greening the Square and using landscape and water as a narrative. Based on this support, we are investigating what more we can do with this concept, while still retaining event spaces and clear transport access. We’re also looking at ways of incorporating stormwater management and improving ecology across the whole area.


Activation

With feedback showing a particular interest in the prompt delivery of a strategy and the need for action, we’re investigating opportunities for activities and interest in the interim. Gapfiller initiatives and the RE:start Mall are interesting examples of how interim measures can be used to attract activity while areas have got underway. Again - whatever is proposed will need to be high quality, and able to adapt to changing needs over time.


The draft Strategy - how is it shaping up?

The draft strategy is Regenerate Christchurch’s independent advice to the Council and Minister on how regeneration of Cathedral Square and surrounds, and the wider central city, could be achieved. That advice will include a spatial vision, actions, timeframes, costs and priorities.

There is a lot of existing and planned investment in this part of the city by the private sector, as well as Tūranga - the new central library, the convention centre and a reinstated Cathedral. Given the complexities of the area and how it will change in the coming years, we’re continuing to work with the Crown, Council and key stakeholders to ensure our advice has the right mix of long term objectives and activities that can be done now, to get things moving.

On 31 July 2017 Regenerate Christchurch published a draft concept and key moves for Cathedral Square and the surrounding area.

From 31 July to 21 August 2017 we received 735 comments – 16 from groups and 719 from individuals. Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide their thoughts.

Here is a summary of the feedback we received and, importantly, how that feedback is helping develop the regeneration strategy for the area.



What we heard

Overall, feedback on the draft concept and key moves was positive. In total, 83% of participants liked the idea, with just under half of those (36%) stating some reservations.

People were supportive of a more dynamic, vibrant people-friendly Square that attracts people of all ages – residents and visitors. They liked the idea of the Square being a destination, rather than a thoroughfare. They also reconfirmed a theme that first appeared in Share an Idea – than people wanted a greener Square, with more plants and water features.

The main reservations people expressed were around introducing buildings on the northern edge of the Square. Of the 36% who liked the draft concept with reservations, building on the Square was the main concern – that it may limit space, block sun, create a wind tunnel and impact on the historic shape of the Square.

Building on the Square was also the main issue for the 16% who didn’t like the draft concept at all, this group was particularly concerned about the importance of preserving cultural heritage and historic values.


Youth and children

Of the 735 people and groups who responded, 172 people identified themselves as youth. This group were overwhelmingly positive, with 69% supporting the draft concept without reservations and a further 28% expressing support with some concerns (97% supportive of the concept in general).

In addition to the public feedback, we also engaged specifically with youth and children.

In total we engaged with around 211 12-24 year olds, with a specific focus on schools in the immediate area. We invited them to share their thoughts on the draft concept and key moves. Their comments, which have been grouped into seven key themes, highlight what is important to them:

  • Transport and accessibility

  • Protecting memories, culture and heritage

  • Youth friendly places and spaces

  • Environment and animals

  • Wellbeing

  • Education and the arts

  • Commerce and tourism

For the children’s engagement, we asked approximately 250 children from central city schools what they would like to see and experience in and around the Square. In total around 1449 ideas were generated, which were then grouped into themes. Nature in the city came on top, with 29% or 417 of the ideas received. Smiling, active people came next, representing 22% or 319 of the ideas received. The third highest theme was fabulous food, at 20% or 283 ideas.


How we are incorporating this feedback into the draft Strategy

All this feedback, along with the research we have already done, is helping us to refine the design and consider what might be possible for Cathedral Square and the surrounding area.


Buildings and structures on the Square

The draft concept and key moves proposed buildings in the northern edge of the Square to address some issues around inactivity in the area. The buildings were intended to provide a backdrop to events, a space for small businesses and creative industries and, above all they were a way of creating activity by bringing people into the space during what will be a fairly long rebuild period. If we are going to achieve regeneration in the area, it’s important to create activity within the Square.

Feedback raised a number of concerns about the relationship between the structures and nearby buildings, specifically the ChristChurch Cathedral. There were also concerns about how the buildings might create shade or wind tunnels.

We are exploring a range of different options that will bring people into this space. Whatever is proposed will need to be high quality, and respectful of its setting.


Respecting and celebrating our unique cultural heritage

We have had clear feedback that enhancing and protecting the numerous heritage structures and buildings within the space is important.

One of the main drivers of place-making is building upon the cultural heritage of a place. In spite of the significant loss of heritage buildings following the earthquakes, this area is still rich in cultural heritage compared with many other areas.

We are looking at ways we can combine and enhance the heritage in ways that are respectful of both European and Ngāi Tūāhuriri cultural heritage values.


Greening the Square

We had very positive response to the idea of greening the Square and using landscape and water as a narrative. Based on this support, we are investigating what more we can do with this concept, while still retaining event spaces and clear transport access. We’re also looking at ways of incorporating stormwater management and improving ecology across the whole area.


Activation

With feedback showing a particular interest in the prompt delivery of a strategy and the need for action, we’re investigating opportunities for activities and interest in the interim. Gapfiller initiatives and the RE:start Mall are interesting examples of how interim measures can be used to attract activity while areas have got underway. Again - whatever is proposed will need to be high quality, and able to adapt to changing needs over time.


The draft Strategy - how is it shaping up?

The draft strategy is Regenerate Christchurch’s independent advice to the Council and Minister on how regeneration of Cathedral Square and surrounds, and the wider central city, could be achieved. That advice will include a spatial vision, actions, timeframes, costs and priorities.

There is a lot of existing and planned investment in this part of the city by the private sector, as well as Tūranga - the new central library, the convention centre and a reinstated Cathedral. Given the complexities of the area and how it will change in the coming years, we’re continuing to work with the Crown, Council and key stakeholders to ensure our advice has the right mix of long term objectives and activities that can be done now, to get things moving.