In 2009, Danish urban designer Jan Gehl undertook a study of central Christchurch called "Public Space, Public Life".

The study focused on the area bounded by Kilmore Street, St Asaph Street, Rolleston Avenue and Madras Street. It considered:

  • how people used Christchurch’s central-city spaces 
  • the quality of these public spaces
  • how these could better support public life and create a better sense of community.

Becoming 'a truly vibrant and liveable city'

Gehl Architects found Christchurch had great potential to “become a truly vibrant and liveable city”. They made a number of recommendations to create a central city where the needs of people were put first.

The study suggested Christchurch should create:

  • a central city where pedestrians, cyclists and public transport were given priority 
  • strong links between amenities 
  • a stronger identity for the city
  • public places that were good for living, working and playing, for all age groups.

Gehl Architects’ vision for Christchurch

  • a city with a strong heart
  • a city centre with human pace
  • a garden city that celebrates its amenities
  • a city with a wide range of people and activities
  • a city with attractive and inviting public spaces.

Further information

Gehl Architects: "Public Space, Public Life":

"A City for People" - The Council's action plan for the implementation of the "Public Space, Public Life" study.