Each year we ask for your feedback on the central city. More than 2900 of you gave us feedback about the central city in 2019, here is a summary of what you told us.

2019 results

Living in the central city

Moving to the central city

Around 26% of respondents said that they would consider moving to the central city in the next one to two years, or once the rebuild is complete. For those who would not consider moving, lifestyle factors were the primary reason given. 

“We are not needing to move right now, but if it became necessary (i.e. we no longer fit in our house or the house became unlivable for some reason) we would love to live in the central city.”

Housing in the Central City

Around a third of respondents agreed that there is a range of housing and well designed housing available in the central city, however 60% disagreed that there was affordable housing. 

“From what we have seen so far the housing developments look promising in terms of appeal and design. The biggest problem we can see is affordability.”

Terraced housing and low-rise apartment buildings are the preferred housing options for the central city. 52% of respondents would not consider living in medium-rise apartment buildings.

“If there were apartments in the central city that didn't cost a fortune to own/rent relative to the suburbs I would consider it as I personally don't need a large home or garden, and would enjoy living within walking distance of the city”

Things to do in the central city

68% of respondents agreed that there was a range of things to do in the central city for all people. Over 70% of respondents think there is a range of things for families and children to do in the central city. 

Respondents most frequently visited the central city to: 

  • Eat out or go to bars (48%).
  • Go shopping (35%).
  • Visit attractions (33%).

“We go in every Saturday to walk around the Botanic Gardens and the streets and checkout the progress on the rebuild. We try to have a coffee at a different place each time." 

Look and feel of the central city

Over 70% of respondents are satisfied with streetscapes and open spaces in the central city.

70% of respondents agreed that the central city is safe for pedestrians, around 50% think that is it safe for people on bikes. Both an improvement from the 2017 and 2018 results. 

The top three features that respondents thought made Christchurch's central city distinctive and unique were: 

  1. The Botanic Gardens (33%)
  2. Margaret Mahy Playground (27%)
  3. Hagley Park (27%)

"Currently, there's also still a lot of post-earthquake rebuilding, but I hope that as the rebuild progresses the central city's identity will more and more centre around gardens, parks, and green spaces."

Transport in the central city

The main mode of transport across all activities in the central city continues to be the car. Around 15% of respondents are cycling to work in the central city, whilst 10% are using e-scooters to get to social and recreational activities. 

Across all modes of transport, there was an improvement in perceptions around the ease of travelling within the central city when compared to 2018.

  • 36% of respondents agreed that it is easy to travel by car in the central city (29% in 2018).
  • 47% agreed that it is easy to travel by bicycle in the central city (36% in 2018).
  • 83% agreed that it is easy to get around the central city on foot (70% in 2018).

"I prefer to walk, bike or Lime rather than car when going around the central city..."

Feeling safe in the central city

Over 90% of respondents said that they feel safe in the central city during the day, and around 50% feel safe at night. 

The main reasons for respondents feeling unsafe during the day were: 

  1. Begging
  2. Anti-social behaviour
  3. Homeless people

The main reasons for respondents feeling unsafe at night were: 

  1. People under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  2. Anti-social behaviour
  3. Isolated areas

“Good lighting is important as is safety in numbers so attracting people to the city in the evenings is crucial in making it a safe place.”

The full set of results from the survey can be found in the 2019 Central City Summary Report [PDF, 1.1 MB]


Past year's results

2018 results

More than 3000 people responded to the central city survey in 2018. The results indicate that residents perceptions of the central city are starting to improve. An increasing number of people are finding it easy to travel in the central city, and more respondents are enjoying spending time in the central city. Perceptions are housing remains an issue, particularly concerning the range of affordable, well-designed housing in the central city, however this is likely to improve as developments are completed and become available. 

The results will help inform future planning and policy decisions as we develop Christchurch into a great place where people want to live and visit. More information about the results can be found in the full report.

More information about the questions can be found in the questionnaire

2017 results

More than 2,700 people responded to the central city survey in 2017. The majority of respondents reported that they had visited the central city in the past 12 months; more than half of all respondents had visited for non-work purposes. While people reported feeling frustrated about transport issues, they were still visiting the central city.

The results will help inform future planning and policy decisions as we develop Christchurch into a great place where people want to live and visit. More information about the results can be found in the full report.

More information about the questions asked can be found in the questionnaire