Building momentum

We've taken the best ideas and learnings from some of the most successful cities in the world to help bring the Central City to life. Find the information, statistics and insights you need to make informed decisions.

Find out how far we've come and what more to expect

You'll see the familiar and the new. In the ever-changing skyline, there's exciting and emerging landmarks and attractions.

Progress is measured in terms of building activity, business and employment figures, residential population and in the number of visitors we've welcomed.

Here's a snapshot of the latest facts and figures about the Central City to provide context to what's been going on, and to help inform your development decisions.  

Building confidence

The rapidly emerging business, hospitality, cultural, transport and public space environments in the Central City are already becoming self-sustaining. 

This makes the Central City increasingly attractive for further development, and a compelling place for residents, businesses and organisations to call home.

Central City residential building activity over the past ten years shows the extent of the revitalisation achieved so far. The number of new homes has steadily increased since 2013, with house delivery picking up exponentially. 

Building great business

The re-establishment of business in the Central City is steadily returning to pre-quake activity levels.

Concentrating businesses and employment in the Central City makes great use of the city’s transport network and builds an intensity of activity that helps drive innovation, job growth and higher-value activities..

A growing business community translates into greater employment opportunities: 

  • The latest total employment figures stand at 46,920.  In 2023, Central City employment grew by 6%. 
  • The Central City’s evening vibrancy continues to grow with 5 more businesses open for trade after 9pm as compared to 2022 (3.5% increase as of September 2023).
  • Significant contributors to Central City employment growth include the Health Precinct, Justice and Emergency Services Precinct, and Innovation Precinct.
  • City-block developments within the four avenues are occupied by small-medium sized businesses, bookended by large-scale retailers.
  • Businesses calling the Central City home include some of the world’s biggest names in innovation, tech, retail, banking, commerce and professional services.
  • The Central City shopping experience is fresh and diverse featuring traditional flagship and speciality stores alongside high-end, on-trend boutiques.
  • Our Central City has the biggest range of hospitality offerings in Christchurch. Bars, cafes and restaurants stretch throughout the Central City - from The Terraces and Riverside Farmers Market to the gritty SALT District and establishments around Little High.
  • Outdoor and indoor entertainment options are wide-ranging.  From the playful Margaret Mahy Playground and glorious Botanic Gardens to the modern new EntX cinema complex, heritage Te Matatiki Toi Ora The Arts Centre and treasured Te Puna o Waiwhetū Christchurch City Art Gallery.

Building for our population

Truly engaging urban centres are created by thriving neighbourhoods and communities. Increasing the population will support the revitalisation that has already occurred.

There are schools, libraries, supermarkets, cycleways, green spaces and lots to do right here on our doorstep.

However, there is a gap in the housing base size and type which presents an opportunity to introduce a wider range of high quality housing in the Central City to meets the needs of diverse demographics and future residents.  Our data indicates:

  • The Central City population is growing. The population is now estimated at 8,830 (as of September 2023). In 2013, the population was 5,000.
  • Most homes in the Central City have three or fewer bedrooms, with two bedrooms the most common. There are fewer large homes (four or more bedrooms).
  • Terraced houses and mid-rise apartments are the most common typology in the Central City.
  • Almost a third (32.2%) of those employed are professionals, with 14.3% managers and 11.9% technicians and trades workers.
  • Residents of the Central City are closer to places of work and study. There is more use of active transport (walking, cycling, scootering) and less reliance on cars to get around.
  • Central City residents tend to be younger. Approximately 64% of people living in the Four Avenues are aged between 15 and 44 years, compared with approximately 42% for wider Christchurch (2018 Census).

How can we help?

Have questions or need guidance? Get in touch.

There's a range of support and services available, and getting sorted early on in your development process can save you time and money.

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