Ōtautahi Revisted: Urban Regeneration and a Sense of Identity in the Rebuilding of Christchurch

By Luke Strongman.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 25, 2014 $US5.00

This paper explores the concept of place and identity with regard to the rebuilding of Christchurch (Ōtautahi), New Zealand’s second largest city following the devastating earthquakes of September 2010 and February 2011. The process of rebuilding following a natural disaster is determined by the utility, character, ambiance, habitude, and experience of identity expressed in the process of reconstruction and the environment it supports. For Christchurch, the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island (Te Wai Pounamu) in which approximately half of the city centre was destroyed and must be re-built, rebuilding consists of reconstructing previous architecture, overlaid with a modern architecture. As Gauzin-Muller has stated, “[c]onsideration of environmental issues in construction projects has economic, ecological, and social implications” (2002, 9). While there is a huge physical, financial, and cultural problem to solve in clearing land, designing buildings for repopulated areas, and remediating land for rebuilding, there is also a tremendous opportunity in for engineers, architects, landscape architects, and planners to redesign and construct new sustainable buildings, precinct, and recreational areas for central Christchurch.

Keywords: Ōtautahi, Christchurch, Urban Regeneration, Rebuilding, Design, Environment

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 5, Issue 1, April 2014, pp.13-21. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 25, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 385.258KB)).

Dr. Luke Strongman

Senior Lecturer, Social Sciences, The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand

At Canterbury University a gained first class honours in English, MA Hons in English Literature, and a New Zealand Vice Chancellors Doctoral Scholarship. I have given Conference presentations at the University of Otago, University of Canterbury, Massey University and the University of Auckland, some fifteen conference presentations to national audiences in New Zealand and five overseas conference presentations to University of Hawaii, University of Wollongong, and University of Sydney. I am currently Lecturer in Humanities and Communication at The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.