Vision for a Settled Ground

‘“Happy the country that never makes the front page’ we said recently of Australia,’” Auckland Banyan columnist writes for The Economist. “Even more apt for its smaller sibling across the Tasman Sea, where usually only stories of rugby, hobbits or whale-strandings trouble even the inner sections of the papers published abroad. A run of earthquakes in Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-largest city, has changed all that. Christchurch is a city under siege, its inner heart crumbling and cordoned off. Aftershocks abound … Every third or so house seems uninhabited, many bearing the red sticker that signals their likely doom, while many others are simply gone, front steps and letterboxes leading up to vacant lots and piles of rubble. An evening spent in the company of a group of impassioned locals — journalists, writers, musicians, designers, civil servants, engineers — underlines the depth of ideas for the future of Christchurch. the talk is of decentralisation, low-rise, green buildings, light rail, sustainability. With a hard practical edge. There’s real visionary thinking here, real possibilities to do something amazing. If the political will and money are there, and if the ground settles.”

Tags: Christchurch  Christchurch earthquake  Economist (The)