James Lunday


New beginnings – we have a unique and special opportunity but we need to change the language we used. After the first earthquake our city as munted, now it’s fucked. We need leaders, but not bland ones. We need to leave behind beige and take risks and seize freedom.

This has happened before – Dresden after WWII, rebuilt as a beautiful city. Hiroshima, rebuilt into a modern city. Both with remnants remaining of what had happened to them – that is part of the genetics and the memory. San Francisco, the 1989 earthquake opened up so many opportunities to re-think urban planning.

We need to plant seeds – shame on us that we’d built neighborhoods were people didn’t meet, didn’t talk, where children didn’t play. The earthquake recreated community.

We live in faceless suburbia – blank meaningless little boxes. Retail centres with no soul. It’s disgusting and offensive and it’s wrecked the CBD. A district plan that is full of rules and regulations yet still delivers terrible outcomes. We have a city of commuters and consumers – is that an aspiration? We can create a city of communities.

We don’t need evolution, we have an opportunity to create a revolution. We all have to become revolutionaries. Build from what we have – socially, culturally and environmentally. A vision for public spaces, public transport, a walkable city. The question to be asked is how do we want to live? Lunday suggests taking he city, rediscovering nature, taking the wetlands back, compacting the city and recreating neighbourhoods and villages. Parks, rivers, open spaces and green areas. A new town belt that connects the different areas together – allowing for travelling between the villages by bike, by walking, in nature.

Use this opportunity to fix the structural issues which existed in our city before the earthquake. Let the citizens take control of the city. A culturally driven renewal – all about community. We have people, land, materials an skills. It is up to us to decide what we conjure up with those ingredients.