After the devasting earthquake in 2011 left 185 Christchurch residents dead, we were intrigued to see how the city had developed and regenerated over the past 5 years. Above is a photograph of the ‘Cardboard Cathedral’, a replacement for the famous chapel below which was heavily damaged during the quake.
Luke was in Christchurch just weeks before the disaster hit so he had clear memories of how this old school English city looked before the devastation. He couldn’t believe the extent to which it had changed.
Five years on, we were pretty shocked at how much work still needs to be done, walking around the city feels eerie at night but in the day it is regaining its urban buzz.
Cranes tower over the streets for as far as the eye can see but huge areas of land are still derelict or piled high with rubble.
The residents of Christchurch certainly should be rewarded for their innovation. The disaster destroyed buildings which housed many corporate and independent businesses. Lots of these are now operating out of shipping containers. This is the shipping container mall, Re:Start, which has now become a tourist attraction in its own right.
Even banks are opting to be part of this enterprising idea.
Graffiti covers many walls around the city adding some colour and eye candy to the slowly developing Christchurch.
Luckily New Regent Street, one of the city’s prettiest, survived the quake with limited damage and has been restored to its former glory. It was lovely to see the old English architecture and quaint shop fronts.