Christchurch documentary puts the spotlight on resilient cities

The city of Christchurch, New Zealand offers a symbol of hope to many cities experiencing natural disasters, as captured in this 50-minute documentary.

The documentary film, Christchurch: Resilient City, was released recently at the Christchurch City Council in New Zealand, showing the various ways a community can rise from the rubble of a devastating earthquake. The film, featured here, presents how people can rebuild their lives with sustainability, resilience and hope.

It was on February 22, 2011 when New Zealand was rocked by a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, which killed 185 people and injured several thousands, as well as destroyed buildings and churches. It also left several thousand homes uninhabitable.

The documentary, produced by Curtin University’s Professor Peter Newman, showcases a host of community-led initiatives and social innovations focusing on urban sustainability, such as the ‘cardboard cathedral’, a green design project. Other efforts also include the creative use of empty spaces for recreation and community gatherings, restoring local waterways as a river park, teaching local businesses the ropes of sustainable sourcing, and developing a more disaster-proof local food supply through urban gardening, among other food security endeavours.

Professor Newman made the film with Professor Tim Beatley, from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, during his time as a visiting professor at the University of Canterbury.

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