Cantabrians pride themselves on being the Green City of the South Island, which has gained them international recognition as the ‘Garden City’ of New Zealand. Why was Christchurch assigned this title? Does the southern center live up to its birth name? These are questions we plan to answers in our own investigation into the Eco-belt of Christchurch.
The 1856 ‘Black’ maps indicate the native ecosystems that densely populated the Southern region across wet to dry plains, with the most dominant ecosystem being Totara at 21.28%. Urbanization over 155 years however has dramatically changed these figures, depreciating open space by 44%. Of the urban fabric only 12% is dedicated to public space for Cantabrians, which covers a variety of functions. Local Parks are the most common at 65% which support New Zealand’s prominent rugby culture and recreation being advocated in communities. In terms of area however, it appears that regional parks are the largest at 74%, even though there are very few.
Acquiring this in-depth background understanding of open space has been essential since it will help us reach design solutions that will further maintain public space, which is crucial to keeping Christchurch’s national identity.
Team: Thomas Denhardt, Tina Martin, David Ma
Urban Analysis Booklet (PDF)