Following the earthquakes, over 1000 Central City buildings were demolished. While a good number of developments have occurred, there are still gaps that have yet to be refilled.
With more efficient development of some sites and the loss of some businesses to other locations around the city, it is anticipated that without intervention vacant sites will remain a feature of the Central City for many years to come.
For the purposes of the programme, a vacant site is defined as land that has been cleared and may be in temporary use as a stepping stone to permanent development.
Despite providing opportunities for future growth needs, vacant sites pose ongoing challenges, including:
- Large gaps break up the continuity of activity and impact on perceptions of safety after dark.
- Neglect and poor upkeep of sites create environmental issues including litter, weeds, dust and stormwater run-off, and can attract graffiti.
- Poor visual appearance reinforces views that the city remains ‘broken’ which dissuades visitors, undermines investment confidence, and deters potential homebuyers and commercial tenants.
- Unconsented use of land for temporary car parking is often poorly maintained and undermines investment made in new/planned parking buildings.