I have just returned from 2.5 days in Christchurch seeing friends. For those who missed 2011, Christchurch was rocked by an earthquake that flattened much of the central city.
Walking through the city, it feels primed for zombies. Vacant lots on every corner where buildings have been torn down. Buildings surrounded by fencing and covered with tarpaulins. Cranes and diggers as common as cars. And very few people. Its not hard to imagine the tumbleweeds rolling down the street.
But amongst the grey are spurts of colour, a city determined to fight off the zombies. Colourful containers hosting bright and cheery shops, graffiti and street art lifting the walls, wrapped trees, gap-fillers like mini-golf to fill the spaces. It is heartening to see how the city is not just coping but lifting itself up and moving forward – even in the face of daily challenges. Don’t get me wrong, the people of CHCH are stressed but they have hope for the future.
Here are some of the things that are keeping the zombies at bay.