On several measures the CBD in Christchurch, New Zealand, is recovering from the impact of the 2011 Earthquake. Statistics New Zealand reports
on the major cities and notes that growth in Christchurch's CBD is outpacing other New Zealand cities. This is due to the rebuild of inner city offices, and new businesses moving back from the suburbs. This bodes well for the future.
There are many other issues facing the city though. More people commute by car in the 'Garden City'
than in other cities - and this is unsustainable... even as the shape of the city makes it easy to access by car due to the grid structure of the urban design. This means that congestion still does not play a large role in shaping decisions on transport.
The report is a useful reminder that New Zealand's cities have different constraints on them - they are not the same. And this should be kept in mind when developing solutions to sustainability. For instance cycling, and light rail will have outsize benefits, as will tying the exurbs of Waimakariri and Selwyn into the Greater Christchurch urban area.