Once in a Lifetime: City-building after Disaster in Christchurch

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The most important book written about the recovery of central Christchurch.

Foreword by Helen Clark

  • 55 essays from a range of contributors including Kevin McCloud, Rebecca Macfie, Sally Blundell, Raf Manji, journalists, economists, designers, academics, publicans and more
  • 39 visual essays that document community, business and government responses to Christchurch’s recovery

Read the introduction here and participate in the discussion on Public Address

New Zealand has to rebuild the majority of its second-largest city after a devastating series of earthquakes – a unique challenge for a developed country in the twenty-first century.

The 2010-2011 earthquakes fundamentally disrupted the conventions by which the people of Christchurch lived. The exhausting and exhilarating mix of distress, uncertainty, creativity, opportunities, divergent opinions and competing priorities generates an inevitable question: how do we know if the right decisions are being made?

Once in Lifetime: City-building after Disaster in Christchurch offers the first substantial critique of the Government’s recovery plan, presents alternative approaches to city-building and archives a vital and extraordinary time.

It features photo and written essays from journalists, economists, designers, academics, politicians, artists, publicans and more. Once in a Lifetime presents a range of national and international perspectives on city-building and post-disaster urban recovery.

Media coverage