Looking back on which organisations have made the greatest difference to me in this city post-quake, it has to be those that seek to connect us; to bring us together. The organisation in Christchurch that does this better than any other is Te Pūtahi, Centre for Architecture & City Making, so that’s where the How This City Works spotlight will fall first.
How this city works
Curriculum vitae literally means course of life. And I feel that in the course of writing this blog, it will take on a life of its own. My thinking at this point is all over the map, but I know as with any piece of writing, it'll come together as its meant to over time. To begin with, I'll start with the basics of any CV, gathering core information and seeing what there is to work with.
By the time I landed in Christchurch, I had lived on three continents, 16 different places (towns, cities and villages ) and 27 different flats or houses. I moved a lot. I've never had a hometown to speak of, but I have lived here longer than I have lived anywhere else. And while there's no way I can claim it as 'my own', I figure it makes sense to begin my adventures of looking at how cities work, right here, in a place I know well.
What do you think it is that makes one city different from another? Is it the architecture? The transport system? The food? The business that gets done there? The fortunes that can be made there? The fun that can be had there? Well... maybe there's a little bit of all of that going into a city's mix. But do you know what I think really gives a city its personality? The clue is right there. It's the people; what they do and how they do it.
The quakes have put our city in a unique position. While it's hard to compare different urban centres in the same way - no others have literally had to rebuild from the ground up - in terms of aspirations, of 'what we want', local council websites provide an obvious source for comparison.