The head of the team planning how the Canterbury region should be rebuilt says the most important thing is asking what the people of Christchurch want to see in their city.
Members of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, who will work for free, say they want to improve the legacy for future generations.
The team will be led by the Christchurch-born architect, Ian Athfield, who has been named Architectural Ambassador.
Mr Athfield says building needs to be done in relationship to the heritage fabric that is left.
He says a number of rules in the city plan will have to be changed to make the city work well and to respect the heritage buildings there.
Mr Athfield they are looking to fix a city that hasn't looked after itself for years prior to the earthquake.
Number of quake claims slowing - Commission
About 1000 earthquake claims a day are still being lodged, though the Earthquake Commission says the number's been dropping during the month since the earthquake.
More than 86,000 claims had been received by 3 October, of which nearly 70,000 came from Christchurch.
Earthquake Commission chief executive Ian Simpson says the number of claims being made by people whose homes and businesses have been damaged is slowing down.
The commission will accept claims for up to three months from the date the damage occurred.
Closer inspection of buildings needed - engineer
Meanwhile, a structural engineer says the true extent of damage of buildings in central Christchuch is yet to be fully realised.
John Hare says office buildings designed to take the impact of a quake may appear to be okay, but a closer inspection still needs to be done.
He says while the buildings are safe to occupy, remedial work is still required.