I spent most of my late teens and 20s living inside the four avenues and, since becoming mayor, I have dreamed of moving back.
I love inner-city living. Everything is so close at hand. I love Hagley Park and the Botanic Gardens. I love being able to walk down to a movie theatre or to see a show. I love the restaurants and cafes that have sprung up and some of my old favourites too.
I love to be able to dash down to the shops you don’t get in the malls to buy something special for a birthday present. I miss being in the heart of the city.
More than 2700 people responded to the city council’s Life in Christchurch survey, which was commissioned to gauge people’s views on the central city.
The majority of respondents reported that they had visited the central city in the past 12 months, with more than half visiting for non-work purposes.
Overall, the results indicated people are feeling reasonably positive about progress and value the contribution the central city makes to life in Christchurch.
But for me there was a stand-out set of statistics – all to do with living in the central city.
For me this is what will bring life and vitality to the city.
With only six per cent of respondents actually living in the central city now and only another two per cent actively looking to move into the area, we still have a long way to go.
Close to 30 per cent were considering moving in the future, but the majority of those indicated they would wait for the rebuild to finish.
One of the main concerns people had about a move to the central city was the lack of affordable housing options.
We have already exempted inner-city residential developments from development contributions, but I think we need to do more and I’ll be working with the Development Forum to do just that.
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