Prior to the 2006 amalgamation with Banks Peninsula district, the land area of Christchurch City was 44,000 hectares.
- The majority (86%) of the Christchurch City's land area was zoned for non-urban uses; predominantly for rural, open space and conservation purposes. Most non-urban zoned land was located in Banks Peninsula, the Port Hills, or the outskirts of the city. The amount of non-urban land in the city has decreased by 0.7 per cent since the earthquakes.
- Around 20,700 hectares was zoned for urban purposes, with the majority being zoned for residential use (a combined 12,800 hectares for inner, suburban and hill living). Other types of urban zoning include open space, conservation, cultural (e.g. schools, churches etc.) and central and suburban commercial and industrial activities. The urban area has increased in size overall since the earthquakes- by around 900 hectares- as residential and industrial developments have occurred.
- Other areas (i.e. Special Purpose zones) made up almost 1500 hectares and include the airport, defence force land, hospitals, railway areas, Halswell Quarry, and parts of Bottle Lake Forest. These special purpose zones have decreased in area since the earthquakes- largely impacted by the conversion of Wigram air base to residential housing.
- The Inner Residential and Suburban Residential Zones spread out in concentric rings from the central city.
- The Central Industrial and Suburban Industrial Zones largely stretch along the railway corridor and main arterial roads from Lyttelton Tunnel to Islington, the Airport and to the Waimakariri bridge.
- Urban areas are buffered by significant areas of rural, open space and conservation zones.