Ōtautahi Christchurch - A city in pursuit of balance

Ōtautahi Christchurch - A city in pursuit of balance

Entered by: Christchurch NZ

Christchurch was devastated in 2011 by the Canterbury sequence of earthquakes. Then, just as significant infrastructure was being completed, we all went into a global pandemic. This meant the outdated city narrative of being a broken city persisted. Separately, a broader Greater Christchurch Partnership 2050 Plan has been underway seeking a longer-term vision for this place. One of the key pieces of work from that was the need to develop a place brand/city identity as a key move for achieving “a vibrant place that people love.” In late 2021 central government funding was also confirmed for a destination management plan that would take a holistic view of the visitor experience in the region. The funding provided the opportunity to combine the significant research phase and cost effectively include the place brand work.

 In July 2022 after a tender process, a global and local consortium was appointed to complete this work, led by Vancouver-based Resonance Consultancy, and included three Christchurch creative agencies. They and ChristchurchNZ did significant consultation and community engagement to identify how to best represent the city of today.  The project began with a discovery phase surveying over 10,000 visitors and a representative sample of 4,000 locals, 50 one-on-one key stakeholder interviews, several group workshops and focus groups, and online comments boards to capture ideas. The broad base of this research along with the number of stakeholders engaged meant that the resulting work was authentic to people’s existing sense of place. The city was also benchmarked across a range of place measures with like cities around the globe. This resulted in a number of key insights guiding direction.

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The Place Brand Portfolio is City Nation Place's searchable portfolio of Awards case studies from the past five years.