How Christchurch Is Bouncing Back After the Quake
“The devastating 2011 earthquake in Christchurch took hundreds of lives, felled dozens of buildings and wrecked countless homes. In the years since, the city has been slowly getting back on its feet—and coming out stronger for it,” writes Nurfilzah Rohaidi in an article on GovInsider. In an interview, Lianne Dalziel, Mayor of Christchurch, shares how she is working on making sure that the city’s services are “resilient” enough to face whatever the future brings.
“The reason I use the word resilience is not just the bounce back, but it’s this capacity to adapt to and thrive in a new environment,” said Dalziel.
She points out that the disaster brought opportunities to the city “that didn’t exist before”. One example is the Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus” (EPIC), on “land set aside by the council, which was intended as temporary base, but evolved to an “incredibly successful” space for businesses and startups”.
“What they have managed to do is to build a co-working environment that has enabled all of their businesses to thrive. It’s a collaborative approach towards business growth,” said Dalziel.
“We’re sending a message to central government that as a city, we want to be a bit of a test bed for new technology. Autonomous technology has some great potential opportunities, especially for our city,” she said.
Dalziel also points out the importance of citizen participation. “Governments can’t do things for people. They can do things with people, but [if] the people aren’t there with you, making these things happen, they just simply won’t.” Christchurch is now trialling tools around participatory budgeting so that citizens can “have a say directly in how the city’s budget is allocated”, said Dalziel.
Following the earthquake the city is “strengthening its old infrastructure and building stronger ones” and is using systems to monitor old buildings. Monitoring infrastructure and measuring change is crucial to setting realistic goals.
Christchurch is “monitoring all the time. If you monitor you can measure and you can set yourself targets and you can make real change,” said Dalziel.
To read the full interview, please click here.
Article Source: GovInsider, Nurfilzah Rohaidi, June 30, 2017
Image Source: Youtube