Wednesday, 22 November 2017

My Week in Christchurch

 One of the things that you tend to notice out of Christchurch after walking around for a couple of days is that the damage from 2011 earthquake is still very noticeable, and as much as they've spent a lot of effort in rebuilding things.....there's still dozens of structures in town which haven't been torn down.

In some cases, it's all historical stuff, and they'd really like to find a way to stabilize the building, and rescue it. 

In the first picture, one structure survived without much damage....the other on the left is in a fragile situation and the cargo containers are there to prevent it from falling down onto cars or people....while they figure out a way of saving the building.

In the second picture, this is one of the more famous churches of the city, with about 20-percent of it having fallen, and the rest in some state of trying to be saved.  It might be a decade before they reach the stage of stabilizing it.

From the center of town, I would take a guess that almost 90-percent of the structures have been taken down, or fell on their own account. 

Oddly, the hotel I stayed in....built in a NZ federal government building....had thick concrete walls, and appears to have suffered almost no damage at all from the earthquake.  Then you turn on a 360-degree circle and note that there's only one or two other buildings, out of forty nearby buildings.....that survived and in use today. 

The odd thing as well....lots of new buildings have gone up, and various parts of those buildings are up for lease, but unrented.  Maybe it's a slow period....maybe they've over-built.....but it's a very noticeable thing.

As for an end-point on construction?  Unknown. The state government has poured tons of money into roads and parks.  Thousands of construction guys can be seen around the city and there is some strange positive optimism that exists in Christchurch.  You also get the impression that a lot of folks are somewhat fearful of another quake and sleep in a fragile way.

Tourism?  Well, I hate to suggest it, but a fair number folks stand and admire the damage, and the reconstruction.  It's not something that you typically see.  I stood and watched two Chinese guys admiring some park area and how the new design appeared.  You could see it was giving them ideas. 

My humble feeling is that in a decade, some folks will say that Christchurch is the most liveable city in the world, and lay the nature of this comment on the rebuilding work.

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