Sunday, 16 July 2017

Parking meter with a difference unlocks Christchurch's best kept secret

A repurposed parking meter in Cathedral Square has started issuing tickets of a very different kind.

The parking meter issues ideas for free adventures within Christchurch’s four avenues – Moorhouse, Fitzgerald, Bealey and Deans.

The ideas are crowdsourced from Christchurch locals and visitors via the new Open City website -

Open City is a collaboration between Christchurch creative urban regeneration initiative Gap Filler and the All Right? social marketing wellbeing campaign.

Gap Filler co-founder Coralie Winn says the project is all about celebrating the undervalued, sweet, free things to do in the city.

“It might be a good climbing tree in the Botanic Gardens, an interesting courtyard within a new building or a great place to feed the eels,” Coralie says.

“Each adventure helps you get to know your city better through someone else’s eyes.”

All Right? manager Sue Turner says Open City will help Cantabrians reconnect with their city.

“As more and more people return to our city centre it’s important to find ways to help them reconnect with a place that’s now very different from what it was pre-quake.”

While the parking meter issues only tickets for activities in the Four Avenues, city-wide activities can be accessed – and added – on the website.

“There are already 50 great secrets to explore. The key thing is they must be free.”

Coralie says Gap Filler projects are about bringing new ideas and creative projects to life in the city to keep it fun, interesting and accessible as it rebuilds.

“I think most of us can agree that we want Christchurch to continue to be known for its creative, innovative ideas. That’s good for everyone.”

If the project is successful, Gap Filler will look at having more parking meters around Christchurch.

“There’s also the potential for this project to expand to other cities around New Zealand in the future as it’s an easily adaptable concept and format.”

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