This morning I attended a “critical issues” update at the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce today where the Christchurch Mayor spoke. Lianne Dalziel had a number of observations that she shared about where things were at with the Canterbury rebuild 6 years after the Christchurch earthquake and just a few days after the Port Hills Fires.
She identified the chance to “reimagine Christchurch” at this time. She referred to this video by the Christchurch airport which can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqoTxbIANQ0 and noted that the themes there were that this was a region to “grow, connect, find balance”. She wanted to build on that so Christchurch became known as a “City of Opportunity”.
She talked about the need to ensure the city was connected with the wider region while the Canterbury region had better access to the city. She mentioned the word “resilience” and how this was an important theme for Christchurch and would be emphasised going forward. This had been shown once again by the Port Hills fires.
She concluded by noting that Christchurch was founded in 1856 by royal charter but as one of the oldest cities it had the chance to actually become one of the newest cities in New Zealand through the rebuild. She welcomed the Singularity University that had taken place a few months ago as a challenge for the future. How would innovation impact the future of the city as technology improved things – particularly with the growth of AI. It will definitely be interesting to see how the Canterbury rebuild can integrate some of those new approaches which will be coming in the future and will impact society and how we live in a city – from the perspective of transport, housing, environment, retail and businesses.