Wayfinding towers help with Central City navigation

19 October 2015

The first of four wayfinding towers is being installed in the Central City today as part of Christchurch City Council's Transitional City work programme.

The eight metre-tall towers will be strategically placed to help both locals and visitors get around and find points of interest in the city.

Carolyn Ingles, the Council's Urban Design and Regeneration Unit Manager, says finding your way around the city has been identified as a priority issue for businesses, residents and tourists.

"High quality, robust, prominent and informative signage is essential to help people navigate the Central City."

Lisa Goodman - Central City Business Association Manager

"Since the earthquakes Christchurch has lost 1200 commercial buildings, which is about 80 per cent of the central business district. With many of the landmark buildings having now been demolished, finding your way around the Central City can be disorientating, even for locals.

"The towers have been developed in response to requests from business and tourism partners to improve the visitor experience of the Central City, and by supporting activity they also support business."

Central City Business Association Manager Lisa Goodman says the wayfinding towers are a great initiative.

"High quality, robust, prominent and informative signage is essential to help people navigate the Central City. Our members are constantly asked for directions from visitors who are confused by the empty spaces, roadworks and lack of familiar landmarks. An initiative like this will help to take confusion out of a visitor’s experience to the Central City."

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism Industry Partnership Manager Caroline Blanchfield also supports the installation of the towers.

"Visitors coming to the city have found it difficult to find their way around the Central City and the wayfinding towers will really help enhance the visitor experience," says Blanchfield.

Each of the towers is a different colour and has relevant images, street names, a map and key destinations (with walking times) on them. They are landmarks easily seen from a distance so people can visually refer to them as they navigate around Central City.

"Christchurch’s recovery journey is a time of transition," Ms Ingles says. "The Council's Transitional City Programme is important to attract people back to the central city, support business and develop public confidence through the energy and activity of temporary projects. Some of the great things that are happening in the city under the programme include reactivating vacant spaces such as Friday Night Food Trucks in Cathedral Square.

"As well as wayfinding, the towers can also be used to support artists and events. As part of the Audacious Festival of Sonic Arts 2015 (23–26 October) a sound work, Karaka mai, Ōtautahi! by Ariana Tikao and Mahina-Ina Kaui will occupy the towers and be part of their Central City walking sound tour. This is all part of transitional Christchurch and Christchurch in recovery," Ms Ingles says.

The towers will be installed this week.