Occupying the edge : Christchurch urban housing

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Cookson, Gemma
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
Turner, David
Hewitt, John
Wagner, Cesar
Potangaroa, Regan
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Christchurch Central Development Unit
Blueprint Plan (Christchurch, N.Z.)
East Frame (Christchurch, N.Z.)
urban regeneration
sustainable housing
Manchester Street (Christchurch, N.Z.)
Gloucester Street (Christchurch, N.Z.)
Madras Street (Christchurch, N.Z.)
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Cookson, G. (2013). Occupying the edge : Christchurch urban housing. Master thesis explanatory document. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Architecture Professional.
The February 2011 Christchurch earthquake caused loss of life and widespread damage, especially in the central city and poorer eastern suburbs. Architects and urban planners have been working with the council over the following two years and have produced various planning documents to guide the rebuild. Throughout this process housing, one of the main components in the original plans has become increasingly excluded from the central city plans with every revision. Satellite suburbs and the relocation of families from the eastern suburbs to the periphery of Christchurch is already underway. The sidelining of housing and introduction of commercial zones raise questions about the feasibility and importance of housing within the city center. This research project is an urban housing scheme for central city Christchurch that combines the disciplines of Urban Planning and Architecture in an attempt to build on and improve the “100-day Blueprint plan” released in 2012. This project explores housing through an analysis of site specific environmental, economic and social factors. Urban housing can be a solution when used as a tool to improve pre-quake conditions and to bring life and people back into the city. Specifically this design research examines the people and places affected by the proposed the “eastern frame”. This research revealed the need for a new typology of urban housing to mitigate the prevailing east–northeasterly winds, with the long term objective of creating an improved urban environment for pedestrians and residents. From this research it became clear that New Zealand urban housing shortages could be approached in a different way, perhaps using satellite suburbs or small apartment complexes in a larger comprehensive development that included other uses. This discovery has resulted in a project that calls for both the public and private sectors to work together on a 50 year long term plan, with staged design and build processes to enhance community engagement, and with the objective of re-establishing a connection and sense of community ownership through design. Project site: East Frame area - east of Cathedral Square bounded by Manchester Street, Gloucester Street, Madras Street
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