April 2018 Networking Meeting – Why did Breathe Fail?

Come and hear Lin Roberts discuss her recent paper:

The Breathe Urban Village Competition:
Why did it fail to deliver?

Monday 23 April 5.30 for 6pm
at Pegasus Arms 14 Oxford Terrace

Read the paper here

Lin is SENIOR LECTURER in the Faculty of Environment, Society and Design
Department of Environmental Management at Lincoln.

She has also been a key member of The Viva Project from it’s inception.

Lin Roberts

Community Participation in City-Making – free public lecture

A free public lecture with Joan Raun Nielsen & Sofie Willems of Spektrum Architects (Denmark)

6.00 – 7.30 pm Monday 16 April
DL – D Block Lecture Theatre, Ara Institute of Canterbury, 60 Madras St

There is a lot of interest in Christchurch in how communities can be more and better involved in helping revive and remake public spaces, buildings and parks. So how can we facilitate community participation in public space and architecture projects?

In this free and public lecture, Joan Raun Nielsen and Sofie Willems, award-winning architects from Spektrum Architects (Denmark), present their approach to co-creation and participatory practice, and share some of their superb projects with us.

They have worked with a broad range of people, including communities with very limited budgets, and have achieved stunning results through the use of community consultation. Regardless of land ownership or who the client is – be it public, community or private or a mixture – their practice is applicable to a wide range of situations and to a variety of people

Joan Raun Nielsen and Sofie Willems – Spektrum Architects

Spektrum Architects works with building architecture, landscape, urban planning and public participation in the pursuit of design that takes into consideration a specific site’s qualities and social dynamics. Working within the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning, the office insists on an architectural approach where the inside and outside environments are inextricably linked.

Joan Raun Nielsen and Sofie Willems were awarded with the prestigious Nykredit Sustainability Prize 2016 for ‘placing sustainability centrally in their architecture through inclusion, social awareness and commitment’. The work of Spektrum Architects is a testament to how architects with few resources and dedication can create projects with deep roots. Their work stands out with processes of strong social anchoring, where climate, landscape and people are engaged in an active learning process for the whole community. Spektrum Architect’s site-specific work manages to combine resource-conscious and social responsibility with local responsibility, architectural poetry and sensibility.’

This lecture is presented by Te Pūtahi – Christchurch centre for architecture and city-making. It has been made possible with the support of Boffa Miskell, the Canterbury branch of the NZIA, Firth and Mark Herring Lighting. We also wish to acknowledge our accommodation partner, BreakFree on Cashel and to thank Ara for the venue.

Nielsen and Willems will also be speaking at the 2018 NZILA Firth Conference taking place in Auckland.

The Breathe Urban Village Competition: Why did it fail to deliver?

Lin Roberts has been a key part of The Viva Project since it began, and teaches at Department of Environmental Management, Lincoln University, New Zealand.


Lin has has just completed a paper (published in the Lincoln Planning Review) about why The Breathe Urban Village Competition failed as a key anchor project.


Successful urban regeneration projects generate benefits that are realised over a much longer timeframe than normal market developments and benefits well beyond those that can be uplifted by a market developer.

Consequently there is substantial evidence in the literature that successful place-making and urban regeneration projects are usually public-private partnerships and involve a funder, usually local or central government, willing to contribute ‘patient’ capital. Following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes that devastated the centre of Christchurch, there was an urgent need to rebuild and revitalise the heart of the city, and increasing the number of people living in or near the city centre was seen as a key ingredient of that. In October 2010, an international competition was launched to design and build an Urban Village, a project intended to stimulate renewed residential development in the city. The competition attracted 58 entrants from around world, and in October 2013 the winning team was chosen from four finalists.

However the team failed to secure sufficient finance, and in November 2015 the Government announced that the development would not proceed. The Government was unwilling or unable to recognise that an insistence on a pure market approach would not deliver the innovative sustainable village asked for in the competition brief, and failed to factor in the opportunity cost to government, local government, local businesses and the wider Christchurch community of delaying by many years the residential development of the eastern side of the city. As a result, the  early vision of the vitality that a thriving residential neighbourhood would bring to the city has not yet been realised.

Read the full article here


December 2017 – Final Networking Meeting

Monday 4 December 6pm Visit Mitchell Coll’s prize winning home,

6.00 pm – 6.45 pm, 402 Madras St, Christchurch

Mitchell is a member of Viva and has just won  Visit his website

Mitchell was the Supreme Winner Residential Multi-unit Dwelling in the 2017 Design awards, and you are invited to see the stunning prize winning home.

Join us for Dinner afterwards at Speight’s Ale House, from 7pm, 263 Bealey Ave, Christchurch

Floating Houses an Option in the Red Zone

Kristina Hill – Floating options: Creative adaptation in cities

Thursday 20 July 2017, 6:00 – 7.30pm
The Piano, 156 Armagh Street

Doors, bar and coat check open from 5:00pm

Kristina Hill is Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Environmental Planning and Urban Design at Berkeley.

Her current research focus is urban resilience in the changing global environment, particularly around climate change, sea level rise, and development to enhance a city’s ability to recover from disaster events.

Hill will discuss her recent work in the San Francisco Bay Area – a region that, like Christchurch, is challenged by a rising water table in a seismic zone.

She’ll share strategies for addressing these issues and describe recent engineering experiments used in geologic hazard areas in California.

How could Christchurch adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change? What new designs and responses might work for the red zone?

Watch a 25 minute YouTube video to learn more about Hill’s research.
Hybrid Edges: A Typology of Coastal Adaptation Strategies, June 2014(External link)



Read more here