After assessing the new plans for Christchurch, we discovered flaws that could potentially cause unforeseen circumstances. Our group felt that what the CCDU had proposed was not the only option, and so we chose to pursue an alternative.
The CCDU plan is strikingly similar to the Garden City proposed by Howard Ebenzer in 1898, and is not so dissimilar from the pre-earthquake Christchurch, in that it separates residential zones from the core and main business districts. The CCDU proposed Green Frame is intended to contain the inner CBD. It is designed as an open space capable of expanding for future development of commercial and residential zones. Within the Green Frame, lies only commercial infrastructures, on the outside is the rest of the city, its suburbs, and residential areas. We believe this approach runs the risk of becoming disconnected, and would therefore lead to a CBD decaying within the Green Frame from lack of use.
In our proposal we suggest Green Stitches, creating connections across the CBD. To derive the forms we first accepted to preserve the street grid and existing natural open spaces including Cathedral Square, Hagley Park, Latimer Square and Cranmer Square. In order to locate the strips we developed perpendicular trajectories to the Avon River. We defined five ‘Stitches’ one being the Avon itself, our design proposals address three of the five Stitches.
Hew Kenn Chew, Han Chen, Samuel Wong, June 2013