Chch residents build dream city
Sun, 02 Sep 2012 6:10p.m.
By Jessica Rowe
Hundreds of Christchurch residents gathered today to build the city of their dreams out of cardboard.
It's two days until the second anniversary of the September earthquake, and while progress is being made, there's still a long way to go.
Cardboard trees, merry-go-rounds and even superheroes – the workshop was created to let imagination run wild in Christchurch as residents took part in the re-build of their dream city.
The workshop is being held by international artist Kiel Johnson, who specialises in making 3D cityscapes out of cardboard.
“It's an ultimate symbol for what's really happening out there,” says the artist. “People are coming together to rebuild the city of their dreams. There are some things that the Government could look at and learn from.”
Two years on since Canterbury’s first earthquake, Mayor Bob Parker says the $30-billion rebuild is on track, “but the suburbs must not be forgotten”.
“I think what we've achieved in this time is absolutely extraordinary, but that is not to say there aren't some very difficult issues out there, particularity the interface between insurance companies and EQC, and more work needs to be done,” says Mr Parker.
Already, more than 80 percent of the 1600 buildings that needed to be partially or completely demolished have been completed, and the Minister for Earthquake Recovery says the cordon around the central city is expected to be open by the middle of next year.
“It will never go fast enough for any of us,” says Minister Gerry Brownlee. “It's no comfort if you are on the end of the worst bits of it, but internationally we are doing very well. And we do have to keep pushing for speed.”
Around 190,000 homes have been re-zoned, and nearly 8000 are red, leading to the Government paying homeowners out more than $915 million.
GNS says seismic activity's abating, allowing more confidence from insurers and investors and more hope for residents in the rebuild of the new city.
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