In February 2011, a devastating earthquake rocked the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 185 people and causing extensive damage in the central city and along the river corridor. Thousands of buildings either collapsed or were damaged beyond repair. In all, eighty percent of the footprint of Christchurch’s Central City will be gone once the deconstruction is complete.
Deeply meaningful for the people of Christchurch and at the very heart of the city, Christchurch’s Cathedral Square opens in early 2013, two years after the quake saw it closed to the public. New construction is starting to emerge but for years to come, the Square will be an oasis in a desert of cranes and building sites.
Christchurch is looking for integrated lighting systems and controls to enhance the city-centre spaces through aesthetic, interactive and artistic lighting while at the same time providing Christchurch with a future-proof wirelessly controlled lighting network that can add on additional advanced services in years to come. Such additional urban services may include citizen interaction, urban media, LED lighting controls and sensor systems for parking.
A short-term objective is to use lighting as a transitional feature to separate the active space from the inactive space around Cathedral Square. The aim is to create a flexible system that provides a platform for urban services but also collaborations with artists to form interactive lighting installations as a central attraction for residents and visitors. Our hope is to deploy a sustainable, functional wireless control system for creative lighting applications as well as a backbone for smarter urban services in the city.