Implementing a central city slow core in Christchurch


A lower traffic speed environment in the central city (the "slow core") has been approved in principle by the Christchurch City Council (CCC) in recent years.

The City for People Action Plan envisions a "city with a human pace". The second of the "top 5" recommendations is street upgrades to improve pedestrian priority and amenity, and establish a 30 km/h "slow core". The plan also notes that "raising the profile of pedestrians and cyclists is a guiding principle".
The project identified the boundaries, specific techniques, design concepts, and implementation steps needed to create a slow core.

Sections 1 to 3 of the study report included developing a rationale for speed reduction, precedents, a casualty crash analysis including costs, and consideration of legislative requirements.
Section 4 and 5 considered the existing situation and potential boundaries for the core, including impacts of the earthquakes.

Section 6 covered desirable operating speed, one-way street speed reduction, treatment options, gateway locations and form, prioritisation, and supporting tools such as intelligent transport systems. An appendix included a one page summary implementation programme.

The project, which began early in 2010 and thus preceded the Christchurch earthquakes, has been useful for CCC staff in developing specific proposals for the rebuilding of the central city. In March 2016, a 30 km/h slow core was implemented in central Christchurch, largely mirroring the area suggested by ViaStrada.

Project Objective
Provide transport planning and engineering advice for a reduced speed zone ("slow core") for central Christchurch
Christchurch City Council
Project Status
Completed April 2011
Key contact