Each year we ask for your feedback on the central city. More than 3,100 of you gave us feedback about the central city in 2022, here is a summary of what you told us.

Living in the central city

Around a third of respondents would consider a move to the central city in the next 10 years. Respondents aged under 24 years tend to be more likely than others to consider a move.

62% of respondents would not consider a move to the central city under any circumstances. The main reasons include:

  • The housing in the central city does not meet their needs (56%)
  • A lack of parking (56%)
  • Lifestyle factors (51%)

Housing in the central city

32% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the central city provides a range of housing, while 68% disagree or strongly disagree that the housing is affordable.

Only a quarter (25%) agree or strongly agree that housing in the central city is well designed.

For those looking to move to the central city, they are looking for homes that have:

  • Privacy between neighbours (82%)
  • Are oriented to take advantage of the sun (79%)
  • Have natural light (75%)

Those who would consider a move to the central city indicated a preference for neighbourhoods that are close to natural features, cafes, bars and restaurants.

Public spaces and facilities

Generally, respondents are happy with the public spaces and facilities available in the central city. 

Urban areas in the central city are viewed positively by the majority of respondents; 58% think the central city has attractive and inviting open and green spaces, and a further 60% appreciate the streetscapes and public artworks. 

Graffiti vandalism in the central city was an area identified as needing improvement, with 45% of respondents disagreeing or strongly disagreeing that the central city is free of graffiti vandalism.

Visiting the central city

There was a slight decrease in the number of respondents who had visited the central city for non-work or education purposes within the past 7 days of completing the survey (45% in 2022, versus 49% in 2021).

Over a third of respondents said that Covid-19 had discouraged them from visiting the central city as often as they used to.

Respondents visit the central city at least once a month to:

  • Shop (43%)
  • Eat or drink at cafes (60%)
  • For fresh food and grocery shopping (49%)

Working from home is becoming more common, with 71% of respondents who work in the central city, working from home in their normal working week. This is up from 58% in 2021. 

Travel and the central city

The majority of respondents (61%) agree or strongly agree travel to the central city is easy.

Fewer agree or strongly agree that travel within the central city is easy (46%). Those who found it difficult attributed this to:

  • The 30km/h speed limit (48%)
  • Roadworks and road closures (47%)

Most respondents agree that it is easy to walk (78%) and bike (66%) in the central city. Around a third agree that travel in the central city by public transport (36%) and by car (33%) is easy.

Safety in the central city

Although most respondents report feeling safe in the central city during the day (89%), safety after dark remains a concern.

46% of respondents report feeling a bit or very unsafe in the central city after dark. The main reason for feeling unsafe after dark are:

  • People under the influence of drugs and alcohol (79%)
  • Anit-social behaviour (77%)
  • Homeless people (56%)

Pride in the central city

47% of respondents agree or strongly agree that they feel a sense of pride in the central city. This is greater for those who live in the central city (66%). The main reasons respondents feel a sense of pride are:

  • The Christchurch Botanic Gardens (84%)
  • Tūranga Library (72%)
  • Margaret Mahy Playground (69%)

Of the 23% of respondents who report feeling no sense of pride in the central city, the reasons commonly reported are derelict buildings, parking issues, and a lack of character and identity. 

The central city received a Net Promotor Score (NPS) of -37 when respondents were asked whether they would recommend the central city to their friends and family. This is a decrease from 2021 when the central city received an NPS of -15.

In contrast, an NPS of 14 was calculated for respondents who live in the central city.

Survey feedback will help inform decision-making and ensure the central city is a place Christchurch residents can be proud of. 

A summary of the results from the survey can be found in the Life in Christchurch Central City 2022 summary report. [PDF, 322 KB]


Past year's results

The 2021 Life in Christchurch Central City survey was undertaken in March 2021. Over 3100 people responded to the survey.

Overall the results were very positive, with many respondents acknowledging that the central city is improving with a range of things to do. Maintaining interest, enjoyment and vitality is an ongoing activity.

More information about the results can be found in the Life in Christchurch Central City 2021 report [PDF, 882 KB].

The 2020 Life in Christchurch Central City survey was undertaken in July 2020. Around 3000 people responded to the survey.

Overall the results were very positive, indicating that Christchurch residents think the central city has plenty of shopping and eating out opportunities, and many are optimistic about the future of the central city.

However, there is still some work to be done in regards to Central City housing, ease of travel in the Central City and safety at night.

More information about the results can be found in the Life in Christchurch Central City 2020 report [PDF, 432 KB].

The 2019 Life in Christchurch Central City survey was undertaken in January and February 2019 and received around 2900 responses. It sought feedback on various aspects relating to the central city.

The results indicate that Christchurch residents take pride in their central city and support the rebuild as it progresses. There have been positive improvements across the themes in the survey compared to previous years, as reflected by participants’ responses.

More information about the results can be found in the Life in Christchurch Central City 2019 report [PDF, 1.1 MB].

More than 3000 people responded to the central city survey in 2018. The results indicate that residents perceptions of the central city are starting to improve.

An increasing number of people are finding it easy to travel in the central city, and more respondents are enjoying spending time in the central city.

Perceptions are housing remains an issue, particularly concerning the range of affordable, well-designed housing in the central city, however this is likely to improve as developments are completed and become available. 

More than 2,700 people responded to the central city survey in 2017.

The majority of respondents reported that they had visited the central city in the past 12 months; more than half of all respondents had visited for non-work purposes.

While people reported feeling frustrated about transport issues, they were still visiting the central city.