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

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


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

NOW AVAILABLE in Christchurch: Scorpio Books, HAPA, Christchurch City Gallery, Addington Coffee Co-op, selected Paper Plus stores and Whitcoulls. In Wellington: Unity Books and Capital Books. In Auckland: TimeOut and Unity. It is also available at other various independent bookstores around the country. And online.

55 written and 39 visual essays

Foreword by Helen Clark

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.



  1. Rating by Gerry’s “Old Dungas”…. and Still snagged at Building consents…. | ShakyTown Blues on September 16, 2014 :

  2. Rating by Sally Blundell: Resisting Erasure in Christchurch | IMPOLITIKAL on February 16, 2015 :

    […] is an excerpt from Once in a Lifetime: City-building after Disaster in Christchurch, a collection of essays reflecting on the New Zealand government’s recovery plan […]

  3. Rating by ADA BookSprints » ADA BookSprint – Readings & Links on November 18, 2015 :

    […] have a copy of  Once in a lifetime and Christchurch the Transitional City. I also have a copy of the Listener with the local writer […]

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