My friend and fellow Cashmere Sweater Barnaby Bennett posted this on his Facebook page, and I asked him whether I could re-post it here, for those that don’t have the good fortune of being his friend (or those that haven’t taken a principled stand against the evils of Zuckerberg). Barnaby is working on his PhD, in temporary structures and architecture or something, I can never really pin it down. But he had a look at the CCDU blueprint, in relation to author Jane Jacobs’ four rules. Jacobs wrote “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” in 1961; seems like more than 50 years later, we’re still making the same mistakes. [Barnaby’s comments in brackets afterwards]

I think the Christchurch Blueprint breaks all four of Jane Jacobs’ rules!

“To generate exuberant diversity in a city’s streets and districts four conditions are indispensable:

1. The district, and indeed as many of its internal parts as possible, must serve more than one primary function; preferably more than two…
[they are zoning the city into precincts]

2. Most blocks must be short; that is, streets and opportunities to turn corners must be frequent.
[minimum development size is 7000m2]

3. The district must mingle buildings that vary in age and condition, including a good proportion of old ones so that they vary in the economic yield they must produce. This mingling must be fairly close-grained.
[CERA has overseen the demolition of 80% of the city and seen no heritage plan developed 2 years later]

4. There must be a sufficiently dense concentration of people, for whatever purposes they may be there…”

[Um, yeah. Housing and residential is only dealt with in a superficial fashion in the blueprint – JD]

― Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

As seen with his behaviour around transport in Auckland, Gerry Brownlee seems to view “evidence” with an arrogant disregard, as nothing more than a nuisance.