Young people are least concerned about microclimate, with more of an interest in being in places where ‘the action is’ and being close to other people. By contrast, I found that older people and families look for places with greenery and sheltered places to sit where they can soak up the atmosphere without necessarily being part of the crowd. They actively avoid the colder and windier streets and search for peaceful environments. So given these insights how well are the proposals for the Central City shaping up to deliver attractive urban streets and spaces At first glance, the local climate appears to have been an afterthought. Images in the media of proposed developments are dominated by hard edged buildings, bare open paved areas and narrow alleys. The Central City Blueprint includes a green frame, but there is doubt over how ‘green’ this will be and what type of landscape it will provide at street level. One of the most striking aspects of the transitional stage of the recovery has
been the success of the Re:START in drawing people into the broken city. According to the people I interviewed, the feature that makes Re:START most appealing has been the way the containers create sheltered courtyards, with all day sun, attractive planting and meeting areas. Will the rebuilt Cashel Street be as attractive to people? Will there be equally sheltered, sunny and colourful courtyards in the new precincts and private developments? Have the designers and developers maximised on sun and shade and shelter? Christchurch needs every piece of help it can get, to attract people back in from the air-conditioned suburban malls. It is vital that knowledge about how Cantabrians respond to our microclimate is used to make a new Central City that is attractive to local people, with interesting, green, sunny and sheltered streets and open spaces designed for all ages and lifestyles.
For ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tiles suitable for walls and floors, interior and exterior. Ask the experts.
45 Mandeville Street, Riccarton Christchurch ABOVE Lincoln University PhD candidate, Silvia Tavares from the School of Landscape Architecture. OPPOSITE The Re:START Mall in Christchurch, with the weather station used for the microclimate research.
Phone: (03) 348 3766 www.europica.co.nz JULY/AUGUST 2014