US planner gives thumbs up to Christchurch blueprint

10:06 pm on 1 September 2012

New York's chief urban planner has given the thumbs up to Christchurch's central city blueprint which was unveiled a month ago.

Alex Washburn, who helped redesign Manhattan after the 11 September terrorist attacks has been speaking at an annual conference for people with new ideas, known as TED X, this weekend.

Mr Washburn feels positive about many aspects of the blueprint, particularly plans to make the Avon River a feature of the redesign.

He feels the city will be able to hold its own against the suburban shopping malls which have become more popular as meeting places in recent years.

Mr Washburn says the competition will be healthy and will ensure the central city ends up being a place people want to visit.

Meanwhile, the head of a Dunedin-based television graphics company says the Christchurch earthquakes have left the city with a clean slate and an opportunity to do things no other city has tried.

Animation Research managing director Ian Taylor has also been speaking at the TED X conference.

Mr Taylor says the inclusion of things like an information technology hub in the central city blueprint is vital as a way to attract talented people to the city.

He says ultra-fast broadband will make it even easier for businesses to operate out of Christchurch and take their products and ideas to the world.