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Evolution Square Evolution Square
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Project updated: 30/06/2017

South Frame
Project Stage: Construction

South Frame

Pūtahi Whakatetonga


The South Frame will be a place for markets, events and celebrations – an area to gather, dine, be entertained or just relax.

At the heart of the South Frame will be the Greenway, a pedestrian and cycling corridor that will run the entire east-west length of the development.

The Greenway will connect four gathering spaces. Lanes branching off the Greenway will provide access to retail and hospitality businesses housed in restored or new buildings.


The South Frame is critical to the Central Christchurch Recovery Plan goal of creating a green, people-focused and well connected city centre. It will complete the ‘framing’ of the condensed central city by connecting the East Frame at one end with Ōtākaro/Avon River and Hagley Park at the other.



Ōtākaro is designing and constructing the public areas (the Greenway, gathering spaces and lanes) and is selling Crown land to developers with plans that will complement the South Frame.



Around three quarters of the South Frame is now complete and open to the public. Work on the final section, to the west of Montreal Street is now underway. 



The South Frame development is being funded by the Crown.

Ngāi Tahu Grand Narrative

This Grand Narrative (18M file) documents the Ngāi Tahu values, customs and traditions relevant to the central city.

More Information
  • The Greenway – an ‘ecological spine’

    The Greenway will run east to west and will provide an attractive pedestrian and cycle corridor between the East Frame at one end and The Avon River Precinct at the other.

    The green spaces will feature both native and exotic plantings. They will combine Christchurch’s gardening traditions, mahinga kai (Ngāi Tahu interests in traditional food and other natural resources and the places where those resources are obtained) and green infrastructure.

    The underlying geology of the region will also be conveyed through interpretive paving inlays that tell the ‘story of stone’ – the stone resources relevant to iwi. The Greenway will also connect the four public gathering spaces and perpendicular laneways that will provide access to shops, cafes and restaurants.

  • The four gathering spaces

    The gathering spaces play a key role in supporting the social, cultural and economic role of the South Frame. These ‘yards’ have been designed to draw people in to gather, relax, have lunch, observe and be entertained. The four gathering spaces are:

    • Vanguard Square
    • Evolution Square
    • Matai Common
    • Kahikatea Common.
  • The lanes

    The narrow, north-south lanes, which run perpendicular to the Greenway, will draw people into the South Frame from nearby areas.

    The lanes will support retail and hospitality businesses, as well as small-scale office and studio-style operations in what urban planners call a ‘fine grain development’: many closely-spaced businesses, often with narrow frontages, that create an inviting and diverse experience.

    While the Greenway will be a car-free area for pedestrians and cyclists only, the Lanes will allow slow-speed vehicle traffic to service the adjacent businesses.

    Many heritage buildings in the area will be restored or modified. There will also be new, purpose-built facilities. The result will be a revived urban, industrial character and charm, softened by the ‘green’ public areas.

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