We in Sustainable Otautahi Christchurch (SOC) see our role – working together with like-minded organisations such as One Voice Te Reo Kotahi (OVTRK) – as looking at the whole system of Christchurch-in-Canterbury, from the point of view of its sustainability in the long term.
That system, still recovering from the earthquakes, is the context in which we are working, and long-term sustainability is our aim “… for ourselves and our children after us” (Ngai Tahu & ECAN).
We seek to strengthen our place as a wise head in the Third Sector, where environment, society and economy are seen as an interconnected whole.
We see our citywide system needing to adopt an ethic that helps guide us all to follow a clear direction towards a long term future where we have minimised the consumption of fossil fuels, cleaned up our soils and waterways and substantially reduced the levels of inequality within society.
Currently, that is not happening. A large part of the Regeneration of Christchurch is being directed towards rebuilding much of what was there before, albeit stronger and arguably more up-to-date.
We see little or no effort going into directing the changes that are happening towards sustainability, and not much towards resilience either, other than physical resilience of built infrastructure towards future earthquakes.
Long term sustainability demands a different path, and that has been a major topic of SOC’s work over the last year or two, ably resourced by a visiting researcher from the Arizona State University, Katja Brundiers.
Katja Brundiers – Disasters as Opportunity for Change
Her first visit, in April 2015, produced an output summarised here. Katja revisited the city in September 2016, with her conclusions about the research she has carried out on Disasters as Opportunity for Change, together with her learning about Sustainability Change Agents in the city. A summary of her conclusions is Here
We intend to monitor the development projects that are going on, determine to what extent they are sustainable, and lobby government to adopt more sustainable approaches. The more organisations we can work together with, the more useful this project will be.