Prototype City 3.0

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[THESIS 2012]

*** RELEASE OF PROTOTYPE CITY: FUTURE CHRISTCHURCH V3.0 ***

Christchurch is at a pivotal time in its history. More than two years on from the devastating earthquakes, decisions made now of what to build where and when will come to define the city. Recognising resources for reconstruction are limited, it is critical to think strategically about what types of construction could attract further investment, and what projects are more likely to act as catalysts for growth than others.

The Future Christchurch project brings together a group of six thesis students from the University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning to engage in a collective design project. Through a collaborative process, the project proposes a framework for the development and rebuild of Christchurch. It begins by researching local economies to identify potential catalysts for growth and inform urban strategies and architectural systems. The six economies include: innovation, transportation, green, education, housing and events. The collaborative process enables a synergy between each of the developed strategies, recognising that economies intimately coexist, rather than stand alone.

Christchurch is the perfect prototype city for three reasons: first, it has the unique advantage of abundant water, arable land and a moderate climate conducive to farming. Second, with a population of approximately 370,000 inhabitants, it is large enough to be relevant as a major city but also small enough for technology and infrastructure to be implemented quickly and efficiently. Lastly, because of the massive rebuilding effort following the earthquakes, there is an opportunity to rethink the urban form. Christchurch could capitalise on this opportunity by recognising these inherent traits and become a model city for the 21st Century.

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