Christchurch is a space for growth, a canvas that offers vibrant urban experiences and a place to grow great neighbourhoods. Find out how we're going at delivering our goals of a prosperous, vibrant, liveable central Christchurch.

Our goals for the Central City

Over the next 10 years our goals are to make central Christchurch:

  • the thriving economic heart of an international city
  • a vibrant people-focused place – day and night
  • grow liveable Central City neighbourhoods

To track our progress towards these goals, city agencies are collaborating with a focus on eight specific outcomes.

Business, education and employment growth

Christchurch is the South Island’s primary employment centre. Concentrating businesses and employment in 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. 

To build future prosperity, we need to retain and attract young people through nurturing work opportunities, education and training.

Visitor activity

Growing visitor stays and spending is important to ensure that Christchurch captures its share of South Island tourism flows as well as contributing to the vibrancy and international interest in our Central City.

The primary aim is to support efforts to grow visitor numbers outside of peak season, softening the seasonal impacts on the commercial investment in Central City. 

Spending across the Central City

Our Central City is recapturing its place as the region’s primary destination for shopping, entertainment and hospitality alongside its cultural, economic and civic functions.

A diverse, distinctive and broad-based offer is essential to keep Christchurch and Canterbury residents visiting frequently, and softening the impact of online trading. 

Activity, day and night

A great city environment, an ever-changing mix of retail and hospitality, as well as activity and events will all help to grow the Central City experience, making it a place people visit more often.

Growing the range of evening and night-time activities is an important factor in helping attract residents and, in particular, the young people who will be the lifeblood of our city’s economy. 

Ease of access

Easy access to the Central City and convenience in moving around it are important determinants of positive user experience.

A number of factors contribute to ease of access to the Central City including the quality of streets and footpaths, location and frequency of public transport, availability of cycle facilities and car parks and information regarding getting around the Central City.

A safe and inclusive Central City

A diverse and inclusive Central City is an essential part of restoring civic pride within the wider city community. 

Central City needs to have something for everyone if it is to be “Our Central City” and a magnet for visitors. 

Population growth

Growing the Central City’s resident population is a long-standing local and regional growth objective. 

In 2018, the Council initiated the Central City Residential Programme(external link) (also called Project 8011) to grow Central City population.  

Other initiatives focus on sustaining and growing its vibrant commercial and entertainment function, as part of attracting new residents.  

Attractive neighbourhoods

Attractive neighbourhoods, with good access to facilities and services, are an essential part of what makes up successful communities. 

These elements are critical in attracting and sustaining a residential population in the Central City.