City’s re­build at­tracts in­ter­na­tional visi­tors

Life & Style Weekend - - READ -

THERE is no short­age of things to do in a city that was razed by an earth­quake six years ago. As the Christchurch re­build con­tin­ues in earnest, the city has also started to at­tract visi­tors from across the world.

The Christchurch Air­port will ser­vice close to 6.4 mil­lion passengers this year (up from 5.9 mil­lion last year). The Christchurch and Can­ter­bury Tourism web­site stated that was the most passengers the air­port had ever han­dled in a sin­gle year.

A con­stant thrum of build­ing ma­chin­ery, punc­tu­ated by high-pitched metal grind­ing, has re­placed a more tra­di­tional shop­ping sound­track at the city’s Re: Start Mall on Cashel St.

The mall is made of ship­ping con­tain­ers that house re­tail out­lets, cafes and bars, and mo­bile food ven­dors cor­ral the mall’s visi­tors in an open-air food court. Whether shop­ping for sou­venirs or seek­ing a cheap feed, the mall is a must-see dur­ing a visit to the cen­tral busi­ness district.

The Christchurch trams are also up and run­ning, and the driv­ers and con­duc­tors give great in­sight into a city in tran­si­tion. They are able to talk about what once ex­isted on sites, and also the con­struc­tion work.

An­other im­por­tant memo­rial is the tem­po­rary art in­stal­la­tion of 185 Empty Chairs, op­po­site the CTV build­ing site. The six-storey build­ing on Madras St rapidly col­lapsed in the 2011 earth­quake. Of the 185 peo­ple who died, 115 were in the CTV build­ing.

The in­stal­la­tion is 185 chairs, painted white, in trib­ute to the earth­quake vic­tims. Each chair is dif­fer­ent to mark the unique­ness of all those who died.

PHOTO: LETEA CA­VAN­DER

The Christchurch Re:Start Mall, in the cen­tral busi­ness district.

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