Pop-up gardens

An Enliven Places project is seeking designs for three temporary pop-up gardens to be located in Cathedral Square over the upcoming 2018/19 summer season.

People exploring a pop up urban garden

Flower Jam: Urban landscape design competition (source: Moscow Flower Fest)

The pop-up gardens will aim to temporarily add greenery and colour to Cathedral Square. These delightful spaces will attract people to visit the central city and showcase the creativity of the Christchurch community.

The project is part of the Enliven Places programme, which delivers temporary installations to enliven the central city. This project will facilitate participation in the creation of our city’s spaces.

The pop-up gardens are a temporary way to show how green spaces can add to the vibrancy of Cathedral Square.

How you can get involved

This is your chance to design a temporary pop-up garden space for Cathedral Square. We want to see your creativity for a space that will attract visitors, be fun, engaging and encourage people to spend time in the area.

The challenge is to design the garden within a compact 3x4m space. The garden must incorporate a seating area, greenery and colour within the space. The full criteria and other information is in the Request for Proposal/design brief [PDF, 2.6 MB].

The Council would like to work with key industry partners in delivering this project. This is a chance to support creative talent, by providing expertise, materials and ongoing support to enable applicants to enhance their designs.

Why get involved?

Commission: the three winning designs will each receive a design prize of $2000 as well as a budget of up to $8000 to deliver their project (NZD).

Publicity: our previous public engagement campaigns have reached over 70,000 people on Facebook and had over 5000 people involved in participating. This is a considerable opportunity to showcase your talent.

The details of how to submit your design are attached in the Request for proposal [PDF, 2.6 MB]. Please submit your design, including a description, landscape plans and some background information on you or your group to popupgardens@ccc.govt.nz by Monday 29 October at 5pm.

Industry partners can find out more about helping make this design completion come to life by finding out more in the stakeholder information [PDF, 948 KB] or contacting popupgardens@ccc.govt.nz.

The pop-up gardens process

Request for proposals

Request for proposals – 1 to 29 October

The Request for Proposal seeks designs for temporary pop-up gardens for Cathedral Square. Anyone can enter their design concept, so if you are interested or know someone who might like to enter a design please share this opportunity with them. Submissions are due Monday 22 October at 5pm.

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes – 29 October to 1 November

All the proposals will be submitted to our review panel, who will assess them to make sure they are achievable and appropriate.


Vote – 2 to 11 November

The review panel consists of a youth representative, arts and community advisor as well as landscape and construction industry experts. 

The top eight designs are selected by our review panel and will be put out for a public vote. The three designs with the highest number of votes will be delivered.


Delivery – 13 November to 11 December

The winning applicants will have just over four weeks and $8000 to build and install their designs. We are anticipating that key industry partners will be available to assist this process.

Enjoy and visit

Enjoy and visit – December 2018 to early April 2019

Come into town, spend a few hours, bring some friends and marvel at the activations you had a part in shaping and see people enjoying your pop-up garden.