While many former landmarks have been lost, temporary streetscape projects and pedestrian and bike-friendly infrastructure can make urban areas more accessible, and improve wayfinding and sense of place.

The Enliven Places Programme has trialled and tested a variety of streetscape improvement projects.

Temporary changes to road layouts aim to slow traffic and reimagine how we use public road space in more equitable ways. Our refurbished laneways enable quick and safe journeys through large city blocks.

Pop-up installations act as new guiding features of the city and light the way at night.

Press Lane

A post-earthquake pedestrian laneway connects Worcester and Gloucester Streets.

Press Lane was established on the east side of Tūranga Central Library to better connect Worcester and Gloucester Streets.

The laneway helps pedestrians navigate this part of the central city, and revitalises the area whilst the surrounding properties are developed. 

Landscaping was designed by Lincoln University Student, Johanna Blakely, and installed in partnership with The Green Lab (former Greening the Rubble). 

Ara Fine Arts student Grace Duval painted artworks in the laneway with input from staff at The Press, which has a long history at the site.

A mural reflects local history including a previous laundry service, surgeon, and Māori use of the area, and the laneway surface is decorated with the Press’ motto "Nihil utile quod non-honestum" which translates to "Nothing is useful that is not honest."

The letters reflect the typeset from The Press’ founding year, 1861.  


Westpac Lane

A pre-earthquake pedestrian laneway was reconstructed to link Hereford Street and Cathedral Square.

A strip of land with multiple owners was brokered through Life in Vacant Spaces to re-establish a laneway that was an important connection prior to the earthquakes.

The laneway was resurfaced, newly demarcated with custom bollards and art was installed to make the laneway more enjoyable and accessible. 

The rear entrance of the Distinction Hotel was frequently a target of graffiti. The Enliven Places Programme worked with the hotel who were able to clean up the graffiti and install new lighting.

The artwork by local artist Brandon Warrell highlights the beauty of Christchurch, featuring harakeke (flax), kowhai flowers and familiar central city landmarks such as the tram, New Regent St and the Chalice sculpture.

Transitional artwork ‘The Grove of Intention’ was painted by Rosie Mac and Kerry Lee on a bordering wall. The artwork formed part of a global series of tree artworks that ask questions to encourage inner reflection.

The artwork was decommissioned in April 2020 to make way for a new pocket park. 

Plymouth Lane

A mural decorated a newly constructed laneway between Cashel and Lichfield Streets.

Artist Flox walks in front of her mural in progress‘No Place Like Home’ was designed and created by artist Flox to decorate Plymouth Lane; a key pedestrian route from Lichfield Street through to Cashel Street that was surrounded by significant construction. 

Flox says “Taking inspo from the Wizard of Oz I named this piece ‘No Place Like Home’.

The phrase refers to the journey undertaken by the residents of Christchurch since the earthquakes, which can be compared to elements of this classic tale. Both start with a natural disaster and require the joint forces of intellect, heart and courage during many trials and tribulations.

By referring to the famous line “No place like home”, I’m honouring the resilience, tenacity and collaboration of the people of this much-loved city.”

This mural was decommissioned in 2020 to make way for new development. 

Read about how Flox delivered this mural(external link)

Solar art columns

Four art columns light up the city at night, help with wayfinding, and showcase the work of local artists.

A stainless steel cutout of birds in coloured pounamu greenSolar light art columns aid pedestrian safety and wayfinding around Cathedral Square, and during the day their bright colours add to vibrancy. 

Renowned artist and carver Fayne Robinson designed two columns to mark each end of Westpac Lane. His designs represent day and night and the flora and fauna that once inhabited the city. 

Local artist Tahu Robinson designed two additional columns which were installed at the southern end of Press Lane, and in north Cathedral Square.

His designs reference important Māori landscapes and cultural practices. He highlights the connections between new and old, and links from Tuahiwi to the Christ Church Cathedral.

Urban sheep

Colourful bollards alerted people to road closures, and led people to transitional projects.

Reflective traffic bollards shaped as sheep Traffic barriers were reimagined with the installation of colourful urban sheep.

First installed in 2014, the sheep were placed on closed roads and footpaths around the Central City including High Street and Cathedral Square to help people get used to new road layouts. 

As more roads reopened, the sheep were given a new purpose. Acting as colourful ‘breadcrumbs’, the sheep were scattered near to transitional projects to attract visitors to regenerating areas and let people know that there was something interesting to look at.

The sheep received a great response from the public and media, so when public spaces began to reopen, the original sheep were auctioned off(external link)and all money raised was donated to the Mental Health Foundation. 

Four legacy sheep were installed on High Street as a reminder of this quirky project that became a symbol of Christchurch’s creativity in the wake of the earthquakes.

Transitional Suburban Centres

The Enliven Places programme has also supported redevelopment and re-imagining of suburban centres, particularly those badly affected by the earthquake sequence.

Several projects have supported implementation of the nine Suburban Centres Master Plans.