First, a look back to the past - Christchurch as it was not so long ago, when exchange student Lucas Kaupenjohann took more than 10,000 photos (3.5 per second) to create this timelapse movie. I love the way the effects make it look like a tiny model town. Lovely images from around C-city including Cathedral Square and the Arts Centre, plus the beachside suburb of Sumner - places that all look rather different now.
This next one is a long but rewarding watch (approx 45 mins) - a TVNZ special feature "5 days in the Red Zone" that follows a group of rural police officers who were called in to help out in Chch immediately after this year's big quake. Although filmed in February, this is pretty much our present-day reality... we still have military personnel at cordon checkpoints, there are many roads & bridges awaiting repairs, buildings are constantly being demolished and the ground is still shaking. A 5.5 aftershock just yesterday reminded us that this is still very much an active earthquake zone. Oh what fun.
For shits & giggles, here's a map of the fault lines we're living on top of and the shakes they've generated...
GNS Science website.
And finally, time to look forward... to cast our eyes towards the future and what it might hold for Shakeytown. There have been many calls for our new-look city to embrace people-powered transport, and to be more cycle- and pedestrian-friendly. Our flat topography surely makes us ideal as a cycling city... and there are more than just health benefits as Public Address writer, David Haywood, points out in "131 million reasons to Copenhagenize Christchurch". Christchurch, the cycle city... back to the future in a way - check out this picture I saw in Te Papa earlier this year:
(apologies for the dodgy pic... I kept expecting to get thrown out for snapping!)If you can't read the blurry type at the bottom, it says that in 1900 there were 71 bicycle factories in New Zealand of which 25 were in Christchurch which was known as Cyclepolis.
Ok so the name sucks and I'm sure we can come up with a better one, but the idea is sound. We're a flatland city (for the most part), we enjoy a relatively temperate climate and we have a chance to encourage a healthier, greener mode of personal transport. By creating safe lanes and spaces - all across the city - for walking and cycling, anyone who wishes to travel in a way that benefits themselves and the planet could do so without having to play dodgems with heavy traffic.
I tell ya, in these times of gridlock and skyrocketing petrol prices, it's enough to make even the most committed car-driver like myself consider cycling. If only it weren't for all that traffic...