ecologies and precincts

The government view of Christchurch’s reconstruction that is based around discrete precincts; the justice precinct, the creative precinct and so on is totally opposed to the way a city should grow ecologically. My hope is that the creative, commercial and social ecologies in the city will grow anywhere, anyway and I think they are; despite the desperate attempts for everything to be zoned and categorised. The air is filled with sounds of clanging industry — but is anything being done any differently? 


at the Restart mall

IMG_0920I have quite a lot of hope for my area and I think people are much more community spirited now than before the earthquake. But I have anxiety that things are not changing at all in relation to air quality after the quake. We all hoped that everything would be rebuilt to be more efficient. But as far as I can see the exact same approach to development is happening now. All people want to do is put up buildings as fast as the can, and the same mistakes will be made.

the wizard: invention is a source of hope


I don’t really care about air quality but levitation is something more important to occupy my mind. But I’m not supporter of the campaign for the ban of woodfires. To gather around the fire is something human and essential since primitive times – fires are a source of hope. Invention is a source of hope — we should be working out ways to use the smoke to make it safe to reheat the house itself.

dust in the air

I live in Cashmere and our house is condemned after the earthquake.The cloud images you showed me reminded me of hope or flying amongst bad weather.

The air in Christchurch around the centre is full of concrete dust and the sounds of the city are of clanging machinery. The air is still pretty bad here.

I have a lot of hope for the future, we are moving on from the trauma. It seems the earthquake taniwha has gone up North now to Wellington but I hope nothing so serious will happen there!

hospital on coal power

I live in Littleton and my house is on a bed of rock so it was split apart in the earthquake and caused all the walls to twist. But overall the mood is pretty upbeat in my neighbourhood.

The air quality in Littleton is pretty good and I hope that it will stay that way. But when we come into Christchurch we see a dense layer of smog. I fear that we are nowhere near 100% green. My hopes for better air quality rest with large companies making changes, no just change that is led my individuals.

My fear is that if large hospitals like the Princess Margaret are still running on coal – what hope do we have?



I live in Avonside in Christchurch. I hope that the new transportation in the city will be electric and low-carbon emissions so the air pollution problems will be less serious.

Luckily my home was undamaged in the earthquake. A serious threat is that all the small retail owners will be pushed out in favour of large property owners and developers.

There was more hope in Christchurch in the first year or so after the earthquake, with the first set of ideas for the city  were developed with a lot of community input. The move to government-driven ‘precincts’ away from city development that is led by citizens rather than politicians was our hope.

Brownlee’s blueprint for the city is my greatest fear.

How is the air in your neighbourhood?

The neighbourhoodhope index workshops in Christchurch and Dunedin collected some ideas about how people are feeling about their airspace and their social space.

By air I mean the air quality, breathability and level of pollutants but also the social air – what is happening between people and what are their hopes and fears? The Neighbourhood Hope Index  is an alternative form of Index ,to a GDP economic measurement for example, where instead traces of hope and expectation, or levels of fear are mapped.

As social geographer Doreen Massey writes, ‘the social spaces through which we live do not only consist of physical things: of bricks and mortar, streets and bridges, mountains and seashore…They also consist also of those less tangible spaces that we construct out of social interaction.’ (2000)

I am also interested in the automatic extensions of sensations collected in the ‘Smart City’ in terms of sensor networks as well as the human sensations we experience ourselves.