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Resilience: earthquake resistance

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In a city destroyed by earthquakes, and around the country as well, confidence in our built environment has taken a massive hit this week. After a decade of suffering stories about leaky buildings, and the recent quakes that have destroyed the centre of Christchurch city, what people need to have now is confidence in their architecture. That is something that has just not happened. Images of destroyed buildings, of twisted wreckage and destruction in the heritage architecture of the garden city, have saturated the press coverage of the 2011 Canterbury quake. Alongside that, we can notice people gathering in the open spaces, under the leafy trees of Hagley Park and other places. A city designed with open spaces is a resilient city – it is prepared and it will survive. The trees in the park are supple – they bend and sway in the force of the quakes – and then are back to normal again. In times like this, trees and open space are safe places to be.

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