6 Mar 2018

The hunt is on to find creative ways to fill our city centre’s shop windows.

As part of its Enliven Places programme, Christchurch City Council is launching a new initiative, ShoPOP, aimed at turning unused shop windows into fun attractions.

“Christchurch has been a hot bed of creativity since the earthquakes and has found some really innovative ways of breathing new life into vacant sites.

“We want to take that a step further now and look at fun and creative ways of activating some of the empty shop windows in the city centre,’’ says Council Head of Urban Regeneration, Design and Heritage Carolyn Ingles.

“We’ve got some fantastic new buildings in the city centre that will eventually be occupied by permanent tenants, but in the interim there is a chance to use some of these spaces to showcase the innovative and creative communities of our city.

“We want to hear people’s ideas for how we could put these spaces to use and make them attractions in their own right,’’ Ms Ingles says.

Central Ward Councillor Deon Swiggs says he is keen to tap into people’s creativity and imagination to find new ways to build on the central city’s growing vibe.

“This city is full of creative people with great ideas and I’m excited about hearing their thoughts on how we can activate some of our empty spaces and build on the varied and interesting offering in the central city,’’ Cr Swiggs says.

Central City Business Association Manager Paul Lonsdale is welcoming the Council’s move to find temporary uses for some of the empty building space in the CBD.

“These new spaces will hopefully not be empty for long but if we can utilise them in the meantime by showcasing the creative side of our city’s residents, then I’m all for it.

“Christchurch garnered a number of accolades worldwide through its post-quake creative responses and this is a fantastic opportunity to create another point of difference in the central city and add to the vibrancy of the area,’’ Mr Lonsdale says.

From today people can use the Council’s Facebook page to put forward their suggestions for how the empty shop windows could be filled.

Those suggestions will then be packaged into a Request for Proposal, seeking people's creative designs for these spaces. There will be an Open and School category.

All proposals received will be reviewed by a panel who will assess each and draw up a short-list.

The public will then get to vote on which of the short-listed ideas they like the best. The two top ideas in the Open category and the top idea in the Student category will be delivered.

Learn more about the ShoPOP project.