Bringing life to the central city has been the remit of city planners, policy makers and even the public post-quake, as we seek to reinvigorate and reimagine this space.
It’s a brief that has been met by FESTA, the vibrant biennial festival of urban creativity and community, which is set to once again bring thousands back into the city’s heart this Labour Weekend (19-22 October).
This year’s festival explores the interconnections between food and the city. Food has historically been the foundation of our urban spaces and has played a crucial role in bringing life to this central space, with new and relocated restaurants, community gardens and food trucks keeping the city’s fires burning.
On Saturday 20 October the headline event, FEASTA! – a free and spectacular celebration of food and city-making – will be live for just one night in and around the city’s new public spaces. Christchurch’s biggest and brightest street party, it will feature large-scale installations, performances, artworks, activities and lots of wonderful things to eat and drink.
The Associate Programme, which runs over the course of Labour Weekend, builds on the theme of feasting and explores food’s role in the urban fabric through workshops, performance, art, talks, tours, family events and more. Some of the highlights include Freerange Press’s symposium hosted by Simon Wilson, an outdoor film screening put on by The Community Gardens and Food Resilience network, a food foraging tour and a Friday night disco of funk and food.
Save the date and keep your eyes peeled for the full programme by visiting.
Amid the concrete and glass of Christchurch’s sparkling new city, the CBD is emerging as a space that packs a culinary punch. Because, although deciding where to have dinner can be a tough decision, the central city has become a hotspot for the hungry with all types of foods and cuisines including Thai, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Japanese and everything in between.
The city doesn’t just have a plethora of cuisines to offer hungry people, it also has unique options that give customers a different dining experience. For instance, The Little High Eatery, located on Saint Asaph Street, is a classy food court that houses eight local and family-run businesses. Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for filling your mouth with tasty food – Thai, sushi, pizza, burgers and more!
Just around the corner on High Street, The Monday Room is another eatery that has made a splash in the central city dining space. You’ll feast your eyes on a range of elegantly prepared, meat and seafood-focused dishes such as braised lamb shoulder served with a mouth-pleasing mixture of orange, watercress, mint and pomegranate.
The establishment encourages its patrons to have a social dining experience while they savor shareable-sized meals. Its distinguished ‘Trust the Chef’ menu, where the chef crafts special dishes for each customer, sets it apart from other establishments in the area.
Meanwhile, a couple of blocks down, Welles Street too is making its culinary mark after local firm Box 112 repurposed six former industrial buildings, including a former blacksmith’s workshop, transforming them into a complex of artisan businesses known as The Welder after a former tenant.
Interesting, quirky and raw, the spaces in The Welder are engaging and authentic, headed by operators who have a shared vision for raising the standard of healthy, locally produced food in the city.
New Regent Street too is a culinary destination worthy of its prestige, with cafés, bars and restaurants making their commercial homes here, including 27 Steps, Moko Café, Caffeine Lab, Sushi Sachi, Shop Eight Food and Wine, Coffee Lovers and The Last Word.
Keep in mind that these are just some of the examples of the many eateries around the central city. Christchurch’s inner circle has a lot to offer, you just have to be willing to experience it. So the next time your stomach starts rumbling, step out of your comfort zone and into the CBD to try something new.
The human populace has been known to push the boundaries to the extreme when it comes to the creation of urban greenspaces, with public parks springing up in the most unusual of places; on the tops of tall buildings, in the middle of stormwater management areas and now, in abandoned underground spaces
Yes, abandoned rail corridors throughout the world are now being repurposed into linear parks and unused rail lines are being transformed into hiking and biking trails.
The conversion of an abandoned underground trolley terminal scheduled to open in 2021, New York’s Lowline has been billed as ‘the world’s first subterranean green space’ after laying unused for more than 60 years.
Plans consist of a 9m wide aluminium solar canopy distributing natural sunlight onto a live cultivated landscape ‘park’.
Further west, advocates fighting to keep the now-closed Battery Street tunnel in Seattle from being filled with rubble from the demolished Viaduct hope to transform the underground space into a unique public park. Food for local thought?