TV3 News - May 7, 2011

Christchurch's hidden secret

By Jeff Hampton, TV3 News
Saturday, May 7, 2011

Video clip can be viewed on the following link:

Di Lucas went on a tour of her central city neighbourhood which has suffered badly in the quake and she thinks she knows why.

“It's such a linear thing it suggests a stream pattern,” she says.

Ms Lucas, a landscape architect for more than three decades, has a document known as the black map, an old survey done in the 1850's.

It shows some of the worst affected parts of the city were built on old riverbeds and fresh water banks known as levees. She's backed this up overlaying the map on an aerial picture of the city's damage.

The Pyne Gould Corporation building, where 18 died, appears to have been built in a spot where several streams once fed into the Avon River.

“These streams, they carry on down to join the Avon, there's a concentration of these streams near the PGC building, quite a concentration,” she says.

Ms Lucas says land is less stable around where streams have been filled in. Big cracks illustrate where the old waterways ran.

Ms Lucas believes the streams should be uncovered and not built on again, so does her colleague who's worked on flood recovery in New Orleans.

“So it's better to learn from day one, take your experience and not rebuild on these terrible areas,” says Amanda Anthony.

Mayor Bob Parker says he welcomes the input of people like Di Lucas and says the council wants to hear as many different views as possible at its "share an idea" expo being held in Christchurch next weekend.

1850 Map with streams               1850 Map with streams overlaid with aerial

Posted on 07/05/2011 by Lucas Associates |