Christchurch City Council’s $3.6 million upgrade of Cathedral Square is set to get under way from next week.
The improvements are aimed at supporting local businesses and creating a safer and more pleasant environment for visitors and residents.
“This is an opportunity to breathe life back into the Square and start to re-establish it as the heart of the city, where locals and visitors come together,” says the Council’s Head of Urban Regeneration, Urban Design and Heritage, Carolyn Ingles.
“We want to set the scene for adaptable, inclusive public spaces that remain 'open for business' during the central city’s development — spaces that are ideal for fun events and for meeting up with friends.
“The improvements will also help us to ‘test’ key elements of a wider long-term regeneration strategy for the Square,” Ms Ingles adds.
The Council is prioritising works at the southern end of the Square because about 40 per cent of the existing paving has some level of damage and current lighting levels in the area need to be improved.
The works will be split into four phases over the next two years, with the first phase expected to take three months and coincide with the opening of two new private developments. The ground will be re-levelled and new paving laid in front of the buildings.
In following phases, additional lighting and more landscaping will be added to help create a welcoming space, with existing materials recycled where possible.
The fourth phase will follow a public consultation process about proposed changes to the Square’s southern road access.