The very essence of life, and consequently, the foundational variable around which humanity’s development is centred. It is no wonder that the flourishing of an efficient and healthy city is reliant on its cooperation with the dynamics of the water network within the city’s natural landscape. Christchurch is home to a complex and unique water network- including rivers, a rich supply of drinkable ground water, wetlands and substantial rainfall. With the event of the recent earthquakes, the opportunity is given to revaluate the city’s relationship to the lifeblood of the city. What is the situation of Christchurch’s natural water system and is the city cooperating with it or working in opposition to it? Through the mapping of direction and magnitude of three main categories of Christchurch’s water system- rainfall, surface water and ground water- we have discovered patterns that suggest that the existing city is resisting its full potential in relation to its richly resourced environment. While analysing the water network and the changes before and after the earthquake we uncover that there are direct links between the effect of the earthquake on the city, and the way the city is organised in relation to Christchurch’s natural water system. Potential parameters are formed from which a future city design can emerge- ensuring an improvement in safety and durability for future architecture of Christchurch.
Team: Jason Barnes, Charlotte Laus, Richard Jones
Urban Analysis Booklet (PDF)