A report outlining the first steps towards the rejuvenation of Cathedral Square will be considered by Christchurch City Council’s Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee next week.
The report recommends the Council make improvements to the south and southwest quadrants of Cathedral Square to make the area safer and more pleasant for residents and visitors and to support current and future central city businesses.
The proposed improvements, which aim to create "more inviting, inclusive and event-ready spaces'', involve re-levelling the ground, re-laying paving, installing additional lighting, and introducing more landscaping to soften the environment.
A budget of $3.6 million has been allowed for the proposed work and where possible existing materials will be recycled.
The report says the earthquakes and the subsequent demolition of many of the buildings around the Square’s fringes have left parts of the Square worn down and no longer fit for purpose.
Within the southeast quadrant of the Square, in particular, about 40 per cent of the existing paving has some level of damage and current lighting levels create a sense of unease at night.
The report says improvements to the Square need to be made now if the Council is to support the new private developments that are happening in the area.
One of the first of these developments, the new Spark building, is due to be completed in September.
“This project does not deliver the wider, unfunded regeneration plan for the Square and surrounds but does test and work towards some key elements of it within a localised area,’’ the report says.
It recommends the Council proceed with the first three phases of the improvement work and note that a fourth, separate stage of the project will consider how pedestrians can be given higher priority in the area.
If the Council adopts the report’s recommendations, the improvement work in the Square will begin this winter.