Brooklands Lagoon / Te Riu o Te Aika Kawa (‘Brooklands’) is an important wetland and estuarine ecosystem in Canterbury. It is a site of cultural significance to Ngāi Tūāhuriri, and is also valued by the wider community. Home to an array of life, it is connected to the Pūharakekenui/Styx and Waimakariri rivers, and is part of a wetland landscape complex that includes the Avon-Heathcote / Ihutai estuary to the south and the Ashley / Rakahuri estuary to the north. Notionally situated within the territorial boundary of Christchurch City Council and jurisdictionally encompassed by the regional council Environment Canterbury, it has been legally determined to be part of the coastal marine area. The complicated administrative arrangements for the lagoon mirror the biophysical and human challenges to this surprisingly young ecosystem since its formation in 1940. Here we present a synthesis of the historical events and environmental influences that have shaped Brooklands Lagoon. Before existing as an intertidal ecosystem, the Waimakariri river mouth was situated in what is now the southern end of the lagoon. A summary timeline of key events is set out in the table below. These included the diversion of the Waimakariri River mouth via the construction of Wrights Cut in the 1930s, which influenced the way that the lower reaches of the river interacted with the land and sea. A large flood in 1940 shifted the river mouth ~2 to 3 kilometres north, that created the landscape that we see today. However, this has not remained stable, as the earthquake sequence in 2010 and 2011 subsided the bed of the estuary. The changes are ongoing, as sea level rise and coastal inundation will place ongoing pressure on the aquatic ecosystem and surrounding land. How to provide accommodation space for Brooklands as an estuary will be a key planning and community challenge, as Environment Canterbury begins the engagement for the review of its Regional Coastal Plan. There is also a requirement to safeguard its ecological health under the 2020 National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management. This will necessitate an integrated mountains to sea (ki uta ki tai) management approach as the lagoon is affected by wider catchment activities. We hope that this report will contribute to, and inform these processes by providing a comprehensive historical synthesis, and by identifying considerations for the future collaborative management of Brooklands Lagoon, and protection of its values. In essence, we suggest that Te Riu o Te Aika Kawa deserves some sustained aroha.
Though there is a broad consensus that communities play a key role in disaster response and recovery, most of the existing work in this area focuses on the activities of donor agencies, formal civil defence authorities, and local/central government. Consequently, there is a paucity of research addressing the on-going actions and activities undertaken by communities and ‘emergent groups’ , particularly as they develop after the immediate civil defence or ‘response’ phase is over. In an attempt to address this gap, this inventory of community-led recovery initiatives was undertaken approximately one year after the most devastating February 2011 earthquake. It is part of on-going project at Lincoln University documenting – and seeking a better understanding of - various emergent communities’ roles in recovery, their challenges, and strategies for overcoming them. This larger project also seeks to better understand how collaborative work between informal and formal recovery efforts might be facilitated at different stages of the process. This inventory was conducted over the December 2011 – February 2012 period and builds on Landcare Research’s Christchurch Earthquake Activity Inventory which was a similar snapshot taken in April 2011. The intention behind conducting this updated inventory is to gain a longitudinal perspective of how community-led recovery activities evolve over time. Each entry is ordered alphabetically and contact details have been provided where possible. A series of keywords have also been assigned that describe the main attributes of each activity to assist searches within this document.
The recent Christchurch earthquakes provide a unique opportunity to better understand the relationship between pre-disaster social fault-lines and post-disaster community fracture. As a resident of Christchurch, this paper presents some of my reflections on the social structures and systems, activities, attitudes and decisions that have helped different Canterbury ‘communities’ along their road to recovery, and highlights some issues that have, unfortunately, held us back. These reflections help answer the most crucial question asked of disaster scholarship: what can recovery agencies (including local authorities) do - both before and after disaster - to promote resilience and facilitate recovery. This paper – based on three different definitions of resilience - presents a thematic account of the social recovery landscape. I argue that ‘coping’ might best be associated with adaptive capacity, however ‘thriving’ or ‘bounce forward’ versions of resilience are a function of a community’s participative capacity.
The timing of large Holocene prehistoric earthquakes is determined by dated surface ruptures and landslides at the edge of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary zone in North Canterbury, New Zealand. Collectively, these data indicate two large (M > 7) earthquakes during the last circa 2500 years, within a newly formed zone of hybrid strike-slip and thrust faulting herein described as the Porter's Pass-to-Amberley Fault Zone (PPAFZ). Two earlier events during the Holocene are also recognized, but the data prior to 2500 years are presumed to be incomplete. A return period of 1300–2000 years between large earthquakes in the PPAFZ is consistent with a late Holocene slip rate of 3–4 mm/yr if each displacement is in the range 4–8 m. Historical seismicity in the PPAFZ is characterized by frequent small and moderate magnitude earthquakes and a seismicity rate that is identical to a region surrounding the structurally mature Hope fault of the Marlborough Fault System farther north. This is despite an order-of-magnitude difference in slip rate between the respective fault zones and considerable differences in the recurrence rate of large earthquakes. The magnitude-frequency distribution in the Hope fault region is in accord with the characteristic earthquake model, whereas the rate of large earthquakes in the PPAFZ is approximated (but over predicted) by the Gutenberg-Richter model. The comparison of these two fault zones demonstrates the importance of the structural maturity of the fault zone in relation to seismicity rates inferred from recent, historical, and paleoseismic data.
This thesis investigates landscape disturbance history in Westland since 1350 AD. Specifically, I test the hypothesis that large-magnitude regional episodes of natural disturbance have periodically devastated portions of the landscape and forest, and that these were caused by infrequent earthquakes along the Alpine Fault. Forest stand history reconstruction was used to determine the timing and extent of erosion and sedimentation events that initiated new forest cohorts in a 1412 ha study area in the Karangarua River catchment, south Westland. Over 85 % of the study area was disturbed sufficiently by erosion/sedimentation since 1350 AD to initiate new forest cohorts. During this time four episodes of catchment-wide disturbance impacted the study area, and these took place about 1825 AD ± 5 years (Ruera episode), 1715 AD ± 5 years (Sparkling episode), 1615 AD ± 5 years (McTaggart episode), and 1445 AD ± 15 years (Junction episode). The three most recent episodes disturbed 10 %, 35-40 % and 32-50 % respectively of the study area. The Junction episode disturbed at least 6 % of the study area, but elimination of evidence by more recent disturbances prevented an upper limit being defined. The three earliest episodes correspond to the date-ranges for three Alpine Fault earthquakes from geological data, and are the only episodes of disturbance within each date-range. An earthquake cause is also consistent with features of the disturbance record: large portions of the study area were disturbed, disturbance occurred on all types 'of landforms, and terrace surfaces were abandoned upstream of the Alpine Fault. On this basis erosion/sedimentation induced by Alpine Fault earthquakes has disturbed 14-20 % of the land surface in the study area per century. Storms and other non-seismic erosional processes have disturbed 3-4 % per century. To examine the importance of the Alpine Fault earthquakes to forest disturbance throughout Westland, I collated all available data on conifer stand age structures in the region and identified dates of disturbance events from 55 even-aged cohorts of trees. Three region-wide episodes of forest disturbance since 1350 AD were found in this sample, and these matched the three Alpine Fault earthquake-caused episodes found in the Karangarua. Forest disturbance at these times was widespread across Westland over at least 200 km from Paringa to Hokitika, and originated from both tree fall and erosion processes. This disturbance history can explain the long-observed regional conifer forest pattern in Westland, of a predominance of similar-sized stands of trees and a relative lack of small-sized (young) stands. The many similar-sized stands are a consequence of synchronous forest disturbance and re-establishment accompanying the infrequent Alpine Fault earthquakes, while the dominance of mature stands of trees and relative lack of young small-sized trees in stands is explained by the long lapsed time since the last Alpine Fault earthquake (c. 280 years). I applied the landscape disturbance history information to the existing geological data to reconstruct the paleoseismicity of the Alpine Fault since 1350 AD. Best estimates for the timing of the most recent three rupture events from these data are 1715 AD ± 5 years, 1615 AD ± 5 years and 1445 AD ± 15 years. Earthquake recurrence intervals were variable, ranging from about 100 years to at least 280 years (the lapsed time since the last event). All three events caused forest and geomorphic disturbance over at least a 200 km section of Fault between the Karangarua and Hokitika Rivers, and were probably single rupture events. Suppressions in cross dated tree-ring chronologies in the western South Island suggest that the last rupture occurred in 1717 AD, and extended as a single rupture from Haupiri to Fiordland, a distance along the Fault of 375 km.
Lincoln University and CBRE, a commercial real estate service provider, have conducted research to investigate the impacts of the Canterbury earthquake on the commercial office market in Christchurch. The 22 February 2011 Canterbury earthquake had a devastating impact on Christchurch property with significant damage caused to land and buildings. As at January 2012, around 740 buildings have either been demolished or identified to be demolished in central Christchurch. On top of this, around 140 buildings have either been partially demolished or identified to be partially demolished. The broad aims of our research are to (i) examine the nature and extent of the CBD office relocation, (ii) identify the nature of the occupiers, (iii) determine occupier’s perceptions of the future: their location and space needs post the February earthquake, and the likelihood of relocating back to the CBD after the rebuild, and (iv) find out what occupiers see as the future of the CBD, and how they want this to look.
There is a critical strand of literature suggesting that there are no ‘natural’ disasters (Abramovitz, 2001; Anderson and Woodrow, 1998; Clarke, 2008; Hinchliffe, 2004). There are only those that leave us – the people - more or less shaken and disturbed. There may be some substance to this; for example, how many readers recall the 7.8 magnitude earthquake centred in Fiordland in July 2009? Because it was so far away from a major centre and very few people suffered any consequences, the number is likely to be far fewer than those who remember (all too vividly) the relatively smaller 7.1 magnitude Canterbury quake of September 4th 2010 and the more recent 6.3 magnitude February 22nd 2011 event. One implication of this construction of disasters is that seismic events, like those in Canterbury, are as much socio-political as they are geological. Yet, as this paper shows, the temptation in recovery is to tick boxes and rebuild rather than recover, and to focus on hard infrastructure rather than civic expertise and community involvement. In this paper I draw upon different models of community engagement and use Putnam’s (1995) notion of ‘social capital’ to frame the argument that ‘building bridges’ after a disaster is a complex blend of engineering, communication and collaboration. I then present the results of a qualitative research project undertaken after the September 4th earthquake. This research helps to illustrate the important connections between technical rebuilding, social capital, recovery processes and overall urban resilience.
It is no secret that there is a problem with the suburb of Aranui. Developed in the 1950s, Aranui and neighbouring Wainoni are an example of the large-scale, state-funded subdivisions of the time, yet, unlike similar developments in the North Island, they have received little to no attention from researchers. In light of the recent Canterbury earthquakes, this dissertation aims to trace the evolution of these suburbs until the 1970s and act as the first stage of a more comprehensive review of state housing and the Aranui/Wainoni area. By critically reviewing existing literature on state housing and housing policy in New Zealand, as well as undertaking archival research, this dissertation addresses the international influences on state housing in New Zealand generally and the development of the Aranui and Wainoni area more specifically in order to provide a foundation for answering the question, "What went so wrong?"
The focus of this paper is to identify potential benefits of community involvement in master planning in the post-earthquake recovery context in Christchurch; and to identify considerations for planners involved in the design of master planning processes that involve the community. Findings are based on the results of an information sharing event on these topics convened by The Habitat Project in December 2011, and a review of the relevant literature.
An often overlooked aspect of urban housing development is the composition of the space between buildings; the streetscape. The pressures of suppressing suburban sprawl have seen housing developments respond by increasing residential density within more centralised city sites. Medium-density housing typologies are often used as urban infill in response to the challenge of accommodating an increasing population. A by-product of these renewed areas is the creation of new open space which serves as the fundamental public space for sociability to develop in communities. Street space should emphasise this public expression by encouraging social exchange and interaction. As a result, a neighbourhood owes its liveliness (or lack thereof) to its streets. The issue of density when applied to the urban housing landscape encompasses two major components: the occupancy of both the private realms, constituting the residential built form, and the public spaces that adjoins them, the streets. STREETSCAPE: dialogues of street + house. Continual transition between the realms of public and private (building and street space) enact active edges, giving way to public stimulation; the opportunity for experiencing other people. The advent of seeing and hearing other people in connection with daily comings and goings encourages social events to evolve, enhancing the notion of neighbourly conduct. Within New Zealand, and specifically in Christchurch as considered here, the compositions of current streetscapes lack the demeanor to really encourage and facilitate the idea of neighbourly interaction and public expression. Here lies the potential for new street design to significantly heighten the interplay of human activity. In response, this research project operates under the notion that the street spaces of urban residential areas are largely underutilised. This lack is particularly evident in the street. Street design should strive to produce spaces which stimulate the public life of residents. There exists a need to reassert eminence of the street as a space for vibrant neighbourhood life. This thesis employs design as a tool for researching and will involve using numerous concept generators to trigger the production of multiple scenarios. These scenarios are to explore the ways in which the streetscapes within medium-density urban communities could respond in the event of (re) development.
The topic of ‘resilience’ thinking seems of late to have superseded that of ‘sustainability’ thinking. Sustainability means simply that which sustains and lasts but has taken on many different subtle nuances over the last 20 years since it came into common parlance with the Bruntland Report of 1987, which sought to clarify the definition. However, resilience ‘speak’ has become hot property now, especially highlighted since Christchurch experienced a natural disaster in the form of several large earthquakes from Sep 2010 until most recently in December 2011. Many people comment on how resilient people have been, how resilient the city has been, so it seems timely to investigate what resilience actually means and importantly, resilient to what and of what? (Lorenz, 2010). This essay will look at the concept of systems and resilience, definitions and theories will be explored generally and then these concepts will be more closely defined within the context of a particular system, that of Somerfield School located in the western suburbs of Christchurch.
The devastating earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011 have without question upset the Christchurch City way of life for all. Families and businesses, as well as the natural and built environments have been directly affected, and our social landscapes have since evolved to accommodate the visible changes. Though not perhaps seen as a priority, the Christchurch nightlife has been profoundly altered by the quakes and the once popular CBD clubbing scene has ceased to exist. The concern highlighted in this article is the way in which this has put pressure on suburban bars and the the implications of this for local residents.
The September and February earthquakes were terrifying and devastating. In February, 185 people were killed (this number excludes post earthquake related deaths) and several thousand injured. Damage to infrastructure above and below ground in and around Christchurch was widespread and it will take many years and billions of dollars to rebuild. The ongoing effects of the big quakes and aftershocks are numerous, with the deepest impact being on those who lost family and friends, their livelihoods and homes. What did Cantabrians do during the days, weeks and months of uncertainty and how have we responded? Many grieved, some left, some stayed, some arrived, many shovelled (liquefaction left thousands of tons of silt to be removed from homes and streets), and some used their expertise or knowledge to help in the recovery. This book highlights just some of the projects staff and students from The Faculty of Environment, Society and Design have been involved in from September 2010 to October 2012. The work is ongoing and the plan is to publish another book to document progress and new projects.
The scale of damage from a series of earthquakes across Christchurch Otautahi in 2010 and 2011 challenged all networks in the city at a time when many individuals and communities were under severe economic pressure. Historically, Maori have drawn on traditional institutions such as whanau, marae, hapu and iwi in their endurance of past crises. This paper presents research in progress to describe how these Maori-centric networks supported both Maori and non-Maori through massive urban dislocation. Resilience to any disaster can be explained by configurations of economic, social and cultural factors. Knowing what has contributed to Maori resilience is fundamental to the strategic enhancement of future urban communities - Maori and non-Maori.
The 2010 and 2011 earthquakes have had a devastating impact on the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. The level of destruction has been especially evident in the central business district where it has been estimated over 1000 buildings have already been or will eventually require demolition. Although, contrary to expectations, most of the fatalities were in relatively modern buildings, the Victorian and Edwardian era building stock was especially hard hit in terms of property damage. Unfortunately this era and style of building were also the focus of the most successful inner city revitalisation projects to date. A major research project is now underway examining the impact on the earthquakes on one of these revitalisation areas. The first step is to examine the international literature on similar inner city revitalisation or gentrification areas and in particular the characteristics of owners and occupiers attracted to this type of environment. This is the focus of this paper.
Globally, the maximum elevations at which treelines are observed to occur coincide with a 6.4 °C soil isotherm. However, when observed at finer scales, treelines display a considerable degree of spatial complexity in their patterns across the landscape and are often found occurring at lower elevations than expected relative to the global-scale pattern. There is still a lack of understanding of how the abiotic environment imposes constraints on treeline patterns, the scales at which different effects are acting, and how these effects vary over large spatial extents. In this thesis, I examined abrupt Nothofagus treelines across seven degrees of latitude in New Zealand in order to investigate two broad questions: (1) What is the nature and extent of spatial variability in Nothofagus treelines across the country? (2) How is this variation associated with abiotic variation at different spatial scales? A range of GIS, statistical, and atmospheric modelling methods were applied to address these two questions. First, I characterised Nothofagus treeline patterns at a 15x15km scale across New Zealand using a set of seven, GIS-derived, quantitative metrics that describe different aspects of treeline position, shape, spatial configuration, and relationships with adjacent vegetation. Multivariate clustering of these metrics revealed distinct treeline types that showed strong spatial aggregation across the country. This suggests a strong spatial structuring of the abiotic environment which, in turn, drives treeline patterns. About half of the multivariate treeline metric variation was explained by patterns of climate, substrate, topographic and disturbance variability; on the whole, climatic and disturbance factors were most influential. Second, I developed a conceptual model that describes how treeline elevation may vary at different scales according to three categories of effects: thermal modifying effects, physiological stressors, and disturbance effects. I tested the relevance of this model for Nothofagus treelines by investigating treeline elevation variation at five nested scales (regional to local) using a hierarchical design based on nested river catchments. Hierarchical linear modelling revealed that the majority of the variation in treeline elevation resided at the broadest, regional scale, which was best explained by the thermal modifying effects of solar radiation, mountain mass, and differences in the potential for cold air ponding. Nonetheless, at finer scales, physiological and disturbance effects were important and acted to modify the regional trend at these scales. These results suggest that variation in abrupt treeline elevations are due to both broad-scale temperature-based growth limitation processes and finer-scale stress- and disturbance-related effects on seedling establishment. Third, I explored the applicability of a meso-scale atmospheric model, The Air Pollution Model (TAPM), for generating 200 m resolution, hourly topoclimatic data for temperature, incoming and outgoing radiation, relative humidity, and wind speeds. Initial assessments of TAPM outputs against data from two climate station locations over seven years showed that the model could generate predictions with a consistent level of accuracy for both sites, and which agreed with other evaluations in the literature. TAPM was then used to generate data at 28, 7x7 km Nothofagus treeline zones across New Zealand for January (summer) and July (winter) 2002. Using mixed-effects linear models, I determined that both site-level factors (mean growing season temperature, mountain mass, precipitation, earthquake intensity) and local-level landform (slope and convexity) and topoclimatic factors (solar radiation, photoinhibition index, frost index, desiccation index) were influential in explaining variation in treeline elevation within and among these sites. Treelines were generally closer to their site-level maxima in regions with higher mean growing season temperatures, larger mountains, and lower levels of precipitation. Within sites, higher treelines were associated with higher solar radiation, and lower photoinhibition and desiccation index values, in January, and lower desiccation index values in July. Higher treelines were also significantly associated with steeper, more convex landforms. Overall, this thesis shows that investigating treelines across extensive areas at multiple study scales enables the development of a more comprehensive understanding of treeline variability and underlying environmental constraints. These results can be used to formulate new hypotheses regarding the mechanisms driving treeline formation and to guide the optimal choice of field sites at which to test these hypotheses.
The New Zealand Kellogg Rural Leaders Programme develops emerging agribusiness leaders to help shape the future of New Zealand agribusiness and rural affairs. Lincoln University has been involved with this leaders programme since 1979 when it was launched with a grant from the Kellogg Foundation, USA.
The impact of the Canterbury earthquake sequence of 2010-12 and its aftermath has been enormous. This inventory lists some of the thousands of community-led groups and initiatives across the region that have developed or evolved as a result of the quake. This inventory is the third such inventory to have been produced. The Christchurch Earthquake Activity Inventory was released by Landcare Research in May 2011, three months after the devastating 22 February 2011 earthquake. The second inventory, entitled An Inventory of Community-led Recovery Initiatives in Canterbury, was collated by Bailey Peryman and Dr Suzanne Vallance (Lincoln University) approximately one year after the February earthquake. The research for this third inventory was undertaken over a four month period from June to September 2013, and was conducted primarily through online searches.
The Christchurch earthquakes brought to an abrupt halt a process of adaptive reuse and gentrification that was underway in the south eastern corner of the central business district. The retail uses that were a key to the success of this area pre-earthquake could be characterised as small, owner operated, quirky, bohemian, chaotic and relatively low rent. This research reports on the progress of a long term, comprehensive case study that follows the progress of these retailers both before and after the earthquakes. Findings include the immediate post-earthquake intentions to resume business in the same location as soon as possible were thwarted by government imposed cordons of the CBD that were only lifted nearly three years later. But, businesses were resilient and generally reinvented themselves quickly in alternative suburban locations where government “rebuild” restrictions were absent. It remains to be seen if this type of retail will ever return to the CBD as government imposed plans and the rents demanded for retail space in new buildings appear to preclude small owner-operated businesses.
Millions of urban residents around the world in the coming century will experience severe landscape change – including increased frequencies of flooding due to intensifying storm events and impacts from sea level rise. For cities, collisions of environmental change with mismatched cultural systems present a major threat to infrastructure systems that support urban living. Landscape architects who address these issues express a need to realign infrastructure with underlying natural systems, criticizing the lack of social and environmental considerations in engineering works. Our ability to manage both society and the landscapes we live in to better adapt to unpredictable events and landscape changes is essential if we are to sustain the health and safety of our families, neighbourhoods, and wider community networks. When extreme events like earthquakes or flooding occur in developed areas, the feasibility of returning the land to pre-disturbance use can be questioned. In Christchurch for example, a large expanse of land (630 hectares) within the city was severely damaged by the earthquakes and judged too impractical to repair in the short term. The central government now owns the land and is currently in the process of demolishing the mostly residential houses that formed the predominant land use. Furthermore, cascading impacts from the earthquakes have resulted in a general land subsidence of .5m over much of eastern Christchurch, causing disruptive and damaging flooding. Yet, although disasters can cause severe social and environmental distress, they also hold great potential as a catalyst to increasing adaption. But how might landscape architecture be better positioned to respond to the potential for transformation after disaster? This research asks two core questions: what roles can the discipline of landscape architecture play in improving the resilience of communities so they become more able to adapt to change? And what imaginative concepts could be designed for alternative forms of residential development that better empower residents to understand and adapt the infrastructure that supports them? Through design-directed inquiry, the research found landscape architecture theory to be well positioned to contribute to goals of social-ecological systems resilience. The discipline of landscape architecture could become influential in resilience-oriented multi disciplinary collaborations, with our particular strengths lying in six key areas: the integration of ecological and social processes, improving social capital, engaging with temporality, design-led innovation potential, increasing diversity and our ability to work across multiple scales. Furthermore, several innovative ideas were developed, through a site-based design exploration located within the residential red zone, that attempt to challenge conventional modes of urban living – concepts such as time-based land use, understanding roads as urban waterways, and landscape design and management strategies that increase community participation and awareness of the temporality in landscapes.
To the casual observer, community gardens may look like places where people just come to grow fruit and vegetables. Through digging beneath surface appearances, however, the research literature suggests that there is more to the creation of and participation in community gardens than that which is immediately apparent. The overall aim of this research was to explore and interpret the meaning of community gardens in terms of the sought and experienced well-being of the individuals who participate, and their associated communities. This research was undertaken in the Christchurch/Selwyn district, in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes of 2010-2011. This research utilised the technique of photo-elicitation interviews to study the meanings attributed to community gardening, in the post-earthquake environment. Five gardens were investigated. Results show that a range of meanings, and well-being outcomes are experienced through a combination of physical, educational, aesthetic appreciation, contemplative, creative and social connections within the garden and within the overall context of nature. Significantly, within the post-earthquake environment, the community gardens can offer participants the opportunity to appreciate life and what it means for them.
As far as suburbs with bad reputations go, Aranui in Christchurch often seems to dominate local public perceptions. High crime, high unemployment, low incomes, run-down state houses and uncared-for neighbourhoods have been the key words and phrases used over many decades. This reputation achieved national standing over the same period and in 2001 Aranui gained the dubious distinction of becoming the pilot project for the Labour Government’s state housing Community Renewal Programme initiated in 2001. It is common to read “Don’t buy or rent here” comments on websites and blogs advising prospective immigrants on where to live. One of the dispiriting moments in Aranui’s history came in September 2009 with the discovery of two bodies under the floorboards of a Hampshire Street property and the subsequent charge of double-homicide and conviction of local resident Jason Somerville for the murder of his wife Rebecca Chamberlain and neighbour Tisha Lowry.
The urban environment influences the way people live and shape their everyday lives, and microclimate sensitive design can enhance the use of urban streets and public spaces. Innovative approaches to urban microclimate design will become more important as the world’s population becomes ever more urban, and climate change generates more variability and extremes in urban microclimatic conditions. However, established methods of investigation based upon conventions drawn from building services research and framed by physiological concepts of thermal comfort may fail to capture the social dynamics of urban activity and their interrelationship with microclimate. This research investigates the relationship between microclimate and urban culture in Christchurch, New Zealand, based upon the concept of urban comfort. Urban comfort is defined as the socio-cultural (therefore collective) adaptation to microclimate due to satisfaction with the urban environment. It involves consideration of a combination of human thermal comfort requirements and adaptive comfort circumstances, preferences and strategies. A main methodological challenge was to investigate urban comfort in a city undergoing rapid physical change following a series of major earthquakes (2010-2011), and that also has a strongly seasonal climate which accentuates microclimatic variability. The field investigation had to be suitable for rapidly changing settings as buildings were demolished and rebuilt, and be able to capture data relevant to a cycle of seasons. These local circumstances meant that Christchurch was valuable as an example of a city facing rapid and unpredictable change. An interpretive, integrative, and adaptive research strategy that combined qualitative social science methods with biophysical measures was adopted. The results are based upon participant observation, 86 in-depth interviews with Christchurch residents, and microclimate data measurements. The interviews were carried out in a variety of urban settings including established urban settings (places sustaining relatively little damage) and emerging urban settings (those requiring rebuilding) during 2011-2013. Results of this research show that urban comfort depends on adaptive strategies which in turn depend on culture. Adaptive strategies identified through the data analysis show a strong connection between natural and built landscapes, combined with the regional outdoor culture, the Garden City identity and the connections between rural and urban landscapes. The results also highlight that thermal comfort is an important but insufficient indicator of good microclimate design, as social and cultural values are important influences on climate experience and adaptation. Interpretive research is needed to fully understand urban comfort and to provide urban microclimate design solutions to enhance the use of public open spaces in cities undergoing change.
While there are varying definitions of the term ‘social cohesion’, a number of common themes regularly surface to describe what cohesive societies look like. Previous studies using known indicators of social cohesion have often been conducted at the international level for cross-country comparison, while there has been less focus on social cohesion within countries. The purpose of this research is to identify if indicators of social cohesion can be used to map trends at the city level in order to draw meaningful conclusions, particularly in the aftermath of a natural disaster. Using known indicators of social cohesion and Christchurch City as the basis for this study, variations in social cohesion have been found within the city wards, that preceded but were affected by the events of the Canterbury earthquakes during 2010/11. These findings have significant policy implications for the future of Christchurch, as city leaders work towards the recovery of and subsequent rebuilding of communities.
‘Housing affordability’ has been a term used to refer to a problem that arises when the costs of housing are seen as being unreasonably high in relation to incomes. In the United Kingdom and Australia the local town planning systems have been used to address housing affordability issues. This response in countries that share New Zealand’s town and country planning history raised the question for this research of the local government response to housing affordability issues in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. This research was undertaken during the fifth year after the 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquake series. Research conducted by the Centre for Housing Research Aotearoa New Zealand and the New Zealand Productivity Commission present quite different pictures of the housing affordability problem, suggest different solutions and indicate different roles for levels of government, the community housing sector and the housing market. The research undertaken for this dissertation aimed to address the question of the role of the state, through the lense of a local response to housing affordability issues, in the context of a central government response focused on land supply and reforming the Resource Management Act 1991.
The disastrous earthquakes that struck Christchurch in 2010 and 2011 seriously impacted on the individual and collective lives of Māori residents. This paper continues earlier, predominantly qualitative research on the immediate effects on Māori by presenting an analysis of a survey carried out 18 months after the most destructive event, on 22 February 2011. Using a set-theoretic approach, pathways to Māori resilience are identified, emphasising the combination of whānau connectivity and high incomes in those who have maintained or increased their wellbeing post-disaster. However, the results show that if resilience is used to describe a “bounce back” in wellbeing, Māori are primarily enduring the post-disaster environment. This endurance phase is a precursor to any resilience and will be of much longer duration than first thought. With continued uncertainty in the city and wider New Zealand economy, this endurance may not necessarily lead to a more secure environment for Māori in the city.
The city of Christchurch, New Zealand, was until very recently a “Junior England”—a small city that still bore the strong imprint of nineteenth-century British colonization, alongside a growing interest in the underlying biophysical setting and the indigenous pre-European landscape. All of this has changed as the city has been subjected to a devastating series of earthquakes, beginning in September 2010, and still continuing, with over 12,000 aftershocks recorded. One of these aftershocks, on February 22, 2011, was very close to the city center and very shallow with disastrous consequences, including a death toll of 185. Many buildings collapsed, and many more need to be demolished for safety purposes, meaning that over 80 percent of the central city will have gone. Tied up with this is the city’s precious heritage—its buildings and parks, rivers, and trees. The threats to heritage throw debates over economics and emotion into sharp relief. A number of nostalgic positions emerge from the dust and rubble, and in one form is a reverse-amnesia—an insistence of the past in the present. Individuals can respond to nostalgia in very different ways, at one extreme become mired in it and unable to move on, and at the other, dismissive of nostalgia as a luxury in the face of more pressing crises. The range of positions on nostalgia represent the complexity of heritage debates, attachment, and identity—and the ways in which disasters amplify the ongoing discourse on approaches to conservation and the value of historic landscapes.
The Canterbury earthquakes that happened in 2010 and 2011 have attracted many migrant workers to the region to assist with the rebuilding effort. However, research on the impact of influx of migrants on the labour market outcomes of a local industry post-disaster is limited internationally and locally. The main objective of this study is to examine the impact of the Canterbury earthquakes on the changes in demographic composition and occupational structure for the local and foreign workers in the Greater Christchurch construction industry. Replicating the discrete dependent variable regression methods used in the study by Sisk and Bankston III (2014), this study also aimed to compare their findings on the impact of the influx of migrants on the New Orleans construction industry with outcomes in Greater Christchurch. Customised data from New Zealand Censuses 2006 and 2013 were used to represent the pre- and post-earthquake periods. This study found that the rebuild has provided opportunities for migrant workers to enter the Greater Christchurch construction industry. The increased presence of migrant construction workers did not displace the locals. In fact, the likelihoods for both locals’ and migrants’ participation in the industry improved post-earthquakes. The earthquakes also increased overall workers’ participation at the lowest end of the occupational structure. However, the earthquakes created few significant changes to the distribution of local and migrant workers at the various occupational levels in the industry. Local workers still dominated all occupational levels post-earthquakes. The aggregated education levels of the construction workers were higher post-earthquakes, particularly among the migrant workers. Overall, migrant workers in the Greater Christchurch construction industry were more diverse, more educated and participated in higher occupational levels than migrants assisting in the New Orleans rebuild, due possibly to differences in immigration policies between New Zealand and the United States of America.
The major earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 brought to an abrupt end a process of adaptive reuse, revitalisation and gentrification that was underway in the early 20th century laneways and buildings located in the south eastern corner of the Christchurch Central Business District. Up until then, this location was seen as an exemplar of how mixed use could contribute to making the central city an attractive and viable alternative to the suburban living experience predominant in New Zealand. This thesis is the result of a comprehensive case study of this “Lichfield Lanes” area, which involved in depth interviews with business owners, observation of public meetings and examination of documents and the revitalisation research literature. Findings were that many of the factors seen to make this location successful pre-earthquakes mirror the results of similar research in other cities. These factors include: the importance of building upon historic architecture and the eclectic spaces this creates; a wide variety of uses generating street life; affordable rental levels; plus the dangers of uniformity of use brought about by focussing on business types that pay the most rent. Also critical is co-operation between businesses to create and effectively market and manage an identifiable precinct that has a coherent style and ambience that differentiates the location from competing suburban malls. In relation to the latter, a significant finding of this project was that the hospitality and retail businesses key to the success of Lichfield Lanes were not typical and could be described as quirky, bohemian, chaotic, relatively low rent, owner operated and appealing to the economically important “Creative Class” identified by Richard Florida (2002) and others. In turn, success for many of these businesses can be characterised as including psychological and social returns rather than simply conventional economic benefits. This has important implications for inner city revitalisation, as it contrasts with the traditional focus of local authorities and property developers on physical aspects and tenant profitability as measures of success. This leads on to an important conclusion from this research, which is that an almost completely inverted strategy from that applied to suburban mall development, may be most appropriate for successful inner city revitalisation. It also highlights a disconnection between the focus and processes of regulatory authorities and the outcomes and processes most acceptable to the people likely to frequent the central city. Developers are often caught in the middle of this conflicted situation. Another finding was early commitment by businesses to rebuild the case study area in the same style, but over time this waned as delay, demolition, insurance problems, political and planning uncertainty plus other issues made participation by the original owners and tenants impossible or uneconomic. In conclusion, the focus of inner city revitalisation is too often on buildings rather than the people that use them and what they now desire from the central city.
Queenstown and Christchurch are twin poles of New Zealand's landscape of risk. As the country's 'adventure capital', Queenstown is a spectacular landscape in which risk is a commodity. Christchurch's landscape is also risky, ruptured by earthquakes, tentatively rebuilding. As a far-flung group of tiny islands in a vast ocean, New Zealand is the poster-child of the sublime. Queenstown and Christchurch tell two different, yet complementary, stories about the sublime. Christchurch and Queenstown are vehicles for exploring the 21st-century sublime, for reflecting on its expansive influence on shaping cultural landscapes. Christchurch and Queenstown stretch and challenge the sublime's influence on the designed landscape. Circling the paradoxes of risk and safety, suffering and pleasure, the sublime feeds an infinite appetite for fear as entertainment, and at the same time calls for an empathetic caring for a broken landscape and its residents.