Art, greening, and temporary sculptures can improve the visual appeal of urban areas, by providing a point of interest and contrast in colour and texture to roads and buildings.

Two young women painting a brightly coloured mural, using yellows, blues, and reds.

Murals are one of the easiest ways to enhance the visual appeal of urban areas as they are visible from a distance and add vitality to the surroundings. Physical artworks and installations can be modular so that they can be moved as spaces become available or change over time. 

Check out some of our projects for ideas of how to enhance city spaces. 

'Cassandra’s Dream’ mural

Design students at Yoobee Colleges created a mural to improve the appearance of a new laneway.

A cartoon-style mural painted using bright blues, oranges and reds, depicts a peaceful womans face and a range of buildings, transport and nature behind her.In 2020, Enliven Places facilitated and funded a mural at a vacant site at 200 St Asaph Street, to improve the amenity of the local area and create a sense of place.

"Cassandra's Dream" reflects on the innovative and downtown character of Central City South, which has begun to flourish with new business and unique attractions. The mural was designed and installed by students at nearby Yoobee School of Design.

Local stakeholder Box112 supported the project by creating a pedestrian laneway across the site to connect St Asaph and  Welles Streets, using planter boxes and a sealed surface to support pedestrian movement. 

Read more about 'Cassandra's Dream' on Newsline. (external link)

Dahlias

Six-metre tall sculptural flowers enliven a vacant site and light up the city at night.

A man uses a scissor lift to adjust the heads of the dahlias structuresSydenham-based designers Andrew Veitch and Bevan Whiting from Frontal Lobe created this six-metre tall artwork as a reflection of the beautiful dahlia beds in the Botanic Gardens. The project was delivered in 2019 as part of a ‘Light up the City’ theme which aims to add light, interest and vibrancy to underutilised or vacant spaces. 

Dahlias is located opposite the central Bus Interchange and EntX cinema. The artwork encourages people to pause, rest and reflect. The structure also lights up at night, adding extra vibrancy to this busy intersection.

Read more about Dahlias on Newsline.(external link) 

 

Summer street flags

Residents designed street flags that shared their favourite Christchurch summer experiences.

Three brightly coloured flags fly against a background of leafy trees. They feature a juggling clown, a pair of hands holding, and a pair of feet propped up on the side of a boat on the Avon River, in front of the Antigua Boatsheds.A competition in 2019 sought designs for new street flags to bring vibrancy and colour to the streets during the busy summer season. 

We asked entrants to share what they love about summer, and what it is about the season that is unique to Christchurch Ōtautahi.

We received over 200 entries, with seven winning designs chosen to be displayed across the central city from January to June 2020. The designs represent a large variety of summer activities and reflect the interests of our diverse local residents.

Read more about the designs on our Newsline(external link)

 

Light up the city - projector art

Designs and poems detailing what people love about Christchurch were projected onto city footpaths.

Nine smiling women are depicted of many different origins and ethnicities. A phrase reads I come as one but stand as ten thousand by Maya Angelou.(external link)The Central City Action Plan recognised a need for small scale lighting projects to improve perceptions of safety after dark, and attract more visitors into central city spaces over the winter months.

We sought designs and poems from locals to showcase what they love about Christchurch. We received entries from 120 people, with twenty winning designs projected onto Central City footpaths. Take a walk around the city and see which ones you can find - view our handy map(external link) to get you started. 

'Rise from the Rubble' mural

Over 5,000 Cantabrians got involved to select the design for a new central city mural.

In 2017, local artists were given the opportunity to submit mural designs for a prominent blank wall, to improve the amenity of this central area and add to the Christchurch street art scene. The public was asked to vote(external link) for their favourite of the three top designs. 

The winning design, 'Rise From the Rubble(external link)by Brandon Warrell was a clear favourite. Onlookers watched their chosen design come to life on the side of the Ibis Hotel on Hereford Street over two weeks. 

“The design I have created shows the beauty of NZ’s flora and fauna with the Kowhai and Silvereye as the main elements of the mural. I see a dynamic future for Christchurch as this beauty is rising from the rubble of the fallen city in the hope to bring inspiration to the people of Christchurch. The intention is to acknowledge the great loss but to look forward to the future and the magnificent new life as the city continues to rebuild.” - Brandon Warrell.

Some of our other installations