Date: Tues, Feb 22, 2011
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand's second largest city
Time: 12:51 pm
Event: 6.3 magnitude earthquake
Result: 185 dead, thousands injured, $40 billion damage, 80% downtown destroyed
Three years later Christchurch is still rebuilding and recharging. Emerging from the collapsed buildings, destroyed roads, ruined homes and considerable personal loss, the city is making some discoveries.
I spent the past week introducing SafeGrowth in this beautiful country with its magnificent countryside and easygoing people. Four teams from the Phillipstown neighborhood of Christchurch are the first to try it. Yesterday Christchurch TV covered the training in a newsclip.
Turns out they have a few cards up their sleeve.
First, police use Neighborhood Policing Teams throughout the city with experience in CPTED. Clearly there are some progressive police leaders who see their value.
Second they are experimenting with innovations. One is hundreds of temporary shipping containers to house everything from banks and stores to offices and coffee shops. The containers are painted bright colors and positioned in interesting configurations. They are rarely vandalized.
Their ace in hand is an outstanding CPTED planning team. Led by experienced CPTED practitioner Sue Ramsey, they are advised by renowned CPTED architect Frank Stoks. It was from Stoks' doctoral dissertation on rape in Seattle 30 years ago where the Toronto METRAC organization drew many of their survey questions for the famous Women's Safety Audit.
Sue described the work in Christchurch at the 2013 International CPTED Association conference. Christchurch is well positioned to start a whole new SafeGrowth transformation up from the rubble of disaster.