Pop-Up Mall – Re:START in Christchurch, New Zealand

Written by  //  July 22, 2012  //  Profiled Projects  //  2 Comments

Rising from the debris of the 2011 earthquake in central Christchurch is Re:START, a temporary collection of retailers housed in shipping containers. Re:START is the interim home of many stores previously located in the central city, including; a grocery store, book store, fashion apparel retailers, electronics stores, cafes, and speciality gift shops. Re:START has been credited with playing a critical role in bringing people back into the downtown while demolitions of damaged buildings are finished and reconstruction begins.

Re:START illustrates that great retail environments can be achieved with simple designs and structures. Shipping containers are being used in other cities to create interesting retail environments, with some of the more famous examples including Dekalb Market in Brooklyn, NY, and Boxpark Shoreditch Pop-Up Mall in London, UK. Smaller scale interventions – such as the clusters of food vendors in shipping containers found in Montreal, Canada – can be used to activate vacant lots and blank walls. In the coming years, these mobile and flexible retail spaces appear likely to play a larger role within the urban fabric of cities.


and after

Click on the following photographs to check out a 360º view of Re:START
Photos credit  Re:START and Mark Tantrum Photography

A view in the main thoroughfare with Ballantynes viewable

A corner near Kathmandu and Yoobee

The food court area

Re:START Layout Plan

About the Author


Reurbanist is a multi-disciplinary firm that blends land use economics with urban planning and economic development. At its core, Reurbanist believes that great urban places that are compelling and vibrant must find success at both a fiscal and social level. Stronger cities and urban destinations translate into improved job growth, municipal tax revenue, and a higher quality of life for residents.

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