Who was here?
What is the future of this place?
What is the significance of this place?



Anzac Drive Memorial – Francis Vallance 2010


Rephotography/community engagement in the OARC

The Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor regeneration area spans 345 hectares and snakes 11km along both sides of the river. It is a diverse landscape containing the Residential Red Zone, the area ecologically restored to native forest and wetland, nature trails, cycleways, and community gathering spaces.

The frame network 


The original frames were part of an installation run by the GapFiller placemaking agency, utilising the vacant spaces in urban Christchurch created by the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquakes. The purpose of the frame project was to engage with people and emphasise urban scenes experiencing change over time. 


AvON have repurposed the frames, repainted them a beautiful bright buttercup yellow, and they are now arranged in a network along the meander of the OARC. The frames are a bright signal on the landscape drawing the attention of passersby, signposting locations of significant transformation.  

The frames highlight a changed location, focus the visitor on the view, and orient the individual for rephotography.  

The network roughly follows the City to Sea walking/cycle pathway and comprises six frames placed at Avon Loop, Richmond Community Gardens, Dallington, East x East, Burwood, and Bexley Wetland.  

We want to provoke memories and connect people by recording and sharing the stories of the OARC.  


We are building an archive of photographs that highlight the contrast between past and present. 

We see the value in engaging with local communities through rephotography; it offers many benefits for all groups who make up the community and a broader context.  

Anzac Drive Memorial – Francis Vallance 2010


While honoring past social memory, rephotography allows people to actively use the land to express themselves while documenting how the land is being used. 

Bigger picture 

  • Why it is important to capture change?   
  • Why is community participation meaningful? 

The research on managed retreat in urban settings is limited, typically focusing on the use of empty spaces after a natural disaster, and most are associated with rebuilding temporary housing. This means there is an opportunity to study long-term and regenerative changes in the landscape, conserve community memories, and connect them to the future using rephotography.   

Capture the adaptation 

The Red to Green project will help preserve the memory of loss after disaster and recovery so that future generations can learn from our loss and do not make the same mistakes.