Christchurch was never going to be rebuilt quickly or entirely.
Half a decade later it’s still looking like the remains of a city. It’s a shell of its former self with most of the CBD looking like a car yard or a tidier Chernobyl waste land.
In a way, the CBD is the perfect back drop for a post apocalyptic zombie flick: desolate and abandoned.
That some people are upset Christchurch hasn’t much transformed and are now lamenting the fact doesn’t surprise me. What did they expect?
Did they really think the city would be rebuilt in five years? Surely not? But apparently so.
What people in Christchurch are discovering is the grim reality that property developers all over New Zealand have known for a long time – that nothing happens quickly. For lots of reasons.
One reason is that everyone moves, including businesses that shift in the weeks after disaster to any working accommodation that can be found….. to become locked in long-term leases and unable to return to their old locations.
Homeowners discover more exciting new suburbs or decide to quit the city and haunting memories. Old suburbs lay forgotten.
Sure, lots of stuff has happened in Christchurch. This isn’t to ignore that. But it’s not back to its former glory. The CBD isn’t rebuilt. Key projects aren’t done.
But a lot of people were promising it.
The fact is that cities don’t transform quickly. It’s more like a slowly dripping tap. Read more »